|The Commodores celebrate the third bowl win in school history. (US Presswire)|
Playing a virtual home game in Nashville, Vandy converted the takeaways into 17 points and did not commit a turnover. The disparity helped the Commodores cruise despite gaining just 225 total yards.
It was Vanderbilt's seventh straight win, but its first against a team with a winning record. Vandy finished 9-4, while NC State ended 7-6. The SEC improved to 5-2 in the past seven Music City Bowls.
Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon threw for 383 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off three times.
When the game turned: Vandy LB Darreon Herring put a huge hit on NC State TE Asa Watson in the second quarter, jarring the ball loose after a reception. S Kenny Ladler recovered. Four plays later, Stacy took a wildcat snap and ran 6 yards for his 30th career touchdown, extending the lead to 14-0.
Highlight moments: Vandy WR Chris Boyd made a one-handed, toe-tapping 5-yard touchdown catch to cap the opening 10-play drive. … Freshman Brian Kimbrow weaved through defenders for a 55-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, setting up Vandy's third touchdown. But NC State answered right back on Tobias Palmer's 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He went untouched. … On fourth-and-1 at their own 34, the Commodores went for it early in the fourth quarter and converted on Stacy's 3-yard run. It was a gutsy call considering Vandy led 31-17 at the time.
Significance of Vanderbilt's victory: The Commodores tied a school record with nine wins, and signaled they're a rising force in the SEC.
Significance of NC State's loss: New coach Dave Doeren, formerly of Northern Illinois, didn't coach the bowl game. But he got a good look at the players he's inheriting. Senior QB Mike Glennon hurt his NFL draft stock with an erratic performance.
- Vanderbilt's Stacy: 107 yards rushing, 30th career TD.
- Vanderbilt's Rodgers: Accounted for 3 TDs, no turnovers.
- Vanderbilt's Ladler: 10 tackles, INT, fumble recovery.
- Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews: 7 catches, 61 yards, TD.
- NC State's Palmer: 173 kickoff return yards, including 94-yard TD; 8 catches, 111 yards.
- NC State S Earl Wolff: 9 tackles, pass breakup.
What they said: "When you get to the point you're winning nine games, it puts you in a different category. ... It's a big win for our program and big win for these seniors." -- Vanderbilt coach James Franklin
Numbers you should know: 3. Interceptions by Vanderbilt, after the Commodores made eight all season... 3. Number of bowl wins all-time by Vandy. ... 8. Career 300-yard passing games by Glennon, tied for second in school history behind Philip Rivers. ... 2. Kickoff returns for TDs this season by NC State's Palmer. He's the first Wolfpack player to do that since Lamont Reid in 2002.