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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Groves Stadium (31,500) -- Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Vanderbilt 4-2, WF 4-2. Away Record: Vanderbilt 3-2, WF 1-4. Neutral Record: Vanderbilt 0-0, WF 0-0. Conference Record: Vanderbilt 5-3, WF 3-5. Series Record: Vanderbilt leads, 8-6.
GAME NOTES: The Vanderbilt Commodores and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon with a non-conference bout at Groves Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Vanderbilt started the season with losses in four of its first six games, but since then it has quietly been one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Commodores have won five games in a row, most recently in a dominating performance over Tennessee, 41-18. They have won seven games during the regular season for the first time since 1982.
Wake Forest's campaign has been nearly the opposite of Vanderbilt's. After winning three of their first four games, the Demon Deacons have gone on to drop five of their last seven, including last week's 38-0 loss at the hands of new No. 1 Notre Dame. They'll need a win in this matchup to become bowl eligible
This marks the 16th meeting between these two schools, with Vanderbilt holding an 8-6 advantage. The Commodores won last year's tilt in convincing fashion, 41-7
A 41-point outburst against Tennessee last week only improved upon a stellar season for the Vanderbilt offense (27.0 ppg, 389.0 ypg).
Zac Stacy rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown and also added two receptions for 86 yards in the blowout victory. He has 854 rushing yards this season, and he's the most decorated running back in program history with 2,856 career years and 27 career touchdowns.
Jordan Matthews is making a serious run at the All-SEC team as he sits with 77 receptions (second in the conference) and 1,118 yards, third-most in school history. He tallied 162 total yards (115 receiving, 47 rushing) and a pair of touchdowns last week, giving him seven scores on the season.
Jordan Rodgers has limited his mistakes this season, completing 58.3 percent of his passes for 2,202 yards, 11 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. After throwing only three TDs in his first six games, he has tossed eight scores over the past four weeks.
The Commodores defense shut down the high-powered Volunteers last week, and the unit holds its own as one of the best in a conference full of great defenses (18.0 ppg, 327.9 ypg).
Andre Hall was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after notching two interceptions against Tennessee, both of which led to Vanderbilt touchdowns. Kenny Ladler leads the team with 73 tackles and Chase Garnham has 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
The Wake Forest offense has been non-existent in recent weeks. Not only was it shut out against Notre Dame a week ago, the game before that it scored just six points against NC State. The Deacons now sit with the worst scoring offense in the ACC (18.3 ppg), and only Boston College averages less than their 300.5 ypg.
Tanner Price has 2,118 yards passing and a solid touchdown-to-interception ratio (12-to-6), but he is completing less than 57 percent of his passes.
Much of Price's success is thanks to Michael Campanaro, who's made the most of an underachieving offense by racking up the second-most catches in the conference (71) for 665 yards and six touchdowns. Campanaro is so important to the offense that he's been utilized elsewhere too, as he has a rushing TD and a passing TD on the year as well.
While neither have established themselves as top-tier options, Josh Harris (608 yards, five TDs) and Deandre Martin (412 yards, five TDs) have combined to make a formidable backfield duo.
The lackluster offensive effort certainly hasn't helped the Deacons defense, which is allowing nearly 30 ppg.
Justin Jackson has been one of the best linebackers in the ACC with 80 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, a blocked kick, and a fumble recovery. Kevin Johnson has three of the team's 10 interceptions and he has broken up another 15 passes thrown his way.
Wake Forest has the home crowd on its side, but that's about all it has going for it at the moment. Vanderbilt will stay hot by using its balanced attack to earn the win and improve its bowl resume'.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vanderbilt 35, Wake Forest 16
11/21 10:54:13 ET
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