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(Saturday, November 24)
Final Score: Vanderbilt 55, Wake Forest 21
Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - Jordan Matthews passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Vanderbilt Commodores to a 55-21 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a non-conference regular season finale at Groves Stadium.
Matthews completed 17-of-23 attempts and also threw an interception as Vanderbilt (8-4) achieved its first eight-win season since 1982. Zac Stacy paced the rushing attack with 180 yards and two scores on 21 carries while Jordan Matthews reeled in 10 receptions for 144 yards and a score. Wesley Tate added a rushing and receiving touchdown in the team's sixth consecutive victory.
The Commodores (5-7), who needed a win to become bowl eligible, were led by Tanner Price, who completed 17-of-36 attempts for 182 yards with one interception. Michael Campanaro made eight catches for 98 yards and Deandre Martin picked up 72 yards and a score on 24 carries. Chibuikem Okoro stepped up on the defensive side of the ball to make nine tackles, recover a fumble, record an interception, and score a defensive touchdown.
The team's traded touchdowns in the first quarter to open up play. Vanderbilt struck first when Rodgers completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tate just over five minutes after the opening kickoff. Fullback Tommy Bohanon evened the score for Wake Forest with a one-yard plunge into the end zone on fourth down at the 2:26 mark of the first frame.
Vanderbilt began to take control near the midpoint of the second stanza as Tate rushed 15 yards a touchdown to give his team a 14-7 edge on the scoreboard. Rodgers then completed a 64-yard touchdown strike to Matthews before Stacy rushed four yards for a touchdown for the first half's final touchdown.
The Commodores' second quarter run sent them into the intermission with a sizeable 28-7 lead, but it did not stop there. Vanderbilt's special teams unit got into the mix less than a minute into the second half when Andrew Williamson blocked Alexander Kinal's punt, enabling Casey Hughes to recover the ball in the end zone.
Wake Forest finally ended the run with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a one-yard run across the goal line by Martin.
Vandy added six points before the start of the fourth quarter as Casey Spear drilled field goals from 52 and 50 yards away.
The Commodores' special teams unit struck again at the 11:48 mark of the fourth frame as Jonathan Krause returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown. Stacy piled onto the blowout with a 90-yard touchdown run with just under nine minutes left to play.
Okoro scored the final touchdown of Wake Forest's season on a four-yard fumble return, which finalized the scoring with the visitors on top, 55-21.
Vanderbilt's offense was unstoppable and averaged 7.6 yards per play. The Demon Deacons were unable to keep up as they produced just 3.8 yards per play.
11/24 20:28:29 ET
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