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5 Thoughts - 2008 Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt QB Chris Nickson
Vanderbilt QB Chris Nickson
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 31, 2008


Vanderbilt beats Boston College 16-14 ... 5 Thoughts on the 2008 Music City Bowl

5 Thoughts ... 2008 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl

Vanderbilt 16 ... Boston College 14

GAME RECAP: Vandy holds on to get by BC 
- 2008 CFN Music City Bowl Preview 

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2008 Music City Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. Vandy punter Brett Upson was the most influential player in this game. Cornerback D.J. Moore showed incredible guts playing through an injury and tackling better than just about anyone else for the Commodores. The whole Vandy team produced an inspired effort that was also turnover-free and penalty-free, while BC mistakes--more than anything else--led to the Eagles' demise. But with all this having been said, the truly special story to emerge from this contest is the story of VU placekicker Bryant Hahnfeldt.
 
This man has missed (or had blocked) a great many end-of-game field goals in his career, and he's had to shoulder the burden of several particularly agonizing losses that prevented past Vandy teams from reaching bowl games. For this man to hammer a winning 45-yard kick in the midwinter cold, and ride into the sunset of his football playing days with the memory of a lifetime, represents the very best of sports. Bryant Hahnfeldt reminded all of us about the power of perseverance. His story reminds me why I still care about sports, despite all of its problems, prima donnas, punks, and pea-brained power brokers. - Matthew Zemek

2. Offense? Who needs offense? Vanderbilt hasn't shown any semblance of offense all season long and it kept up its M.O. against a great Boston College defense. 198 yards, eight first downs, 1-of-15 third down conversions, and no running game whatsoever ... one bowl win. The defense wasn't exactly USC, but it held firm when it had to late and the special teams did enough to overcome the woeful attack. Vanderbilt will never be a special SEC team, but it proved this season that it can win with the right mix, just enough timely offense, and great coaching. When the last bowl win was 1955, a 16-14 victory, no matter how it looks, is still special. -
Pete Fiutak

3. It’s been a bad postseason for long bowl streaks. On Christmas Eve, Notre Dame snapped its nine-game skid. Earlier this afternoon, Houston won for the first time in its last nine tries. And in Nashville, Vanderbilt ended Boston College’s eight-game bowl winning streak, while picking up its first bowl win since 1955. All you had to do was watch the Commodores celebrate like it won a national championship to understand why more bowl games in December aren’t such a bad thing. With a reduced slate, a program like Vanderbilt might have to wait another half-century before bringing home a bowl trophy. - Richard Cirminiello

4. It was fitting that Vanderbilt ended the Music City Bowl with a turnover, a Myron Lewis interception to end Boston College’s bid for a comeback in the final minutes. It was the takeaway, and the play of the defense in general, that helped the ‘Dores get to the postseason in the first place. Sure, it was ugly, like so many of the team’s wins in the regular season, but good luck convincing long-suffering Vandy fans that it was anything short of a work of art. Despite going 1-of-15 on third downs and managing a mere 199 yards of total offense, the Commodores somehow found a way to eke out one of its biggest wins ever. It was the Vandy blueprint in 2008. -
Richard Cirminiello

5. Uhhhh, ACC, wasn't this supposed to be your coming out party as a conference? The league hasn't exactly made its mark, and for all the problems across the board, outside of Florida State's win over Wisconsin, this one really hurts. Not only did the SEC beat the ACC twice on New Year's Eve day, with Georgia Tech getting swamped by LSU, but Boston College, the ACC runner-up, lost to Vanderbilt. No offense, okay, a little offense, but Vanderbilt isn't any good. This is a mid-level SEC team that just barely got into the post-season. If the ACC was really all of that, it's supposed second best team should've come out and swamped a team like this. The BC defense did its job, but the the offense wasn't able to come through with any semblance of clutch play. Now the focus this entire off-season will be on Jeff Jagodzinski's offense. Can it really get back on track without Matt Ryan? It couldn't this year, and a great defensive performance went to waste.  - Pete Fiutak