Vanderbilt at Houston

Vandy regroups, tops Houston 41-24 in Compass Bowl wire reports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Patton Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews, and Vanderbilt recovered after blowing a 24-point lead to beat Houston 41-24 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Robinette, starting after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels had season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, also had an 8-yard scoring run as Vanderbilt built a 24-0 lead in the first half.

After Houston (8-4) pulled even by scoring 24 points in the third quarter, Vanderbilt reclaimed the lead on Brian Kimbrow's 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Vanderbilt (9-4) closed the season with five straight wins, adding to third-year coach James Franklin's status as a possible candidate for coaching vacancies, including at Penn State and with the NFL Browns and Redskins. The Commodores played in three straight bowl games under Franklin -- a first for the program -- and completed their first back-to-back nine-win seasons.

Vandy players doused Franklin with a water bucket in the final seconds.

Houston gained only 22 yards and had one first down in the first half but rallied with 24 points in the third quarter to pull even. Kenneth Farrow had a 6-yard scoring run and Deontay Greenberry and John O'Korn threw scoring passes to Markeith Ambles.

The Commodores regrouped with two big gains on direct snaps to running backs early in the fourth quarter. Jerron Seymour ran for 38 yards to the Houston 34. Kimbrow's touchdown run gave the lead back to Vanderbilt.

Jahmel McIntosh's interception less than a minute later gave the ball back to Vanderbilt, setting up Carey Spear's 35-yard field goal.

Seymour added a 2-yard scoring run with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Matthews, a senior who set Southeastern Conference records for career catches and yards receiving, had five catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Matthews took advantage of a lead block by receiver Jonathan Krause to make his first touchdown catch on Vanderbilt's second possession.

A forced fumble by linebacker Chase Garnham set up the Commodores' second touchdown. After Houston's O'Korn threw a pass to Greg Ward Jr., a big hit by Garnham forced the fumbled recovered by Andrew Williamson at the Houston 16. Robinette, making his third career start, scored on an 8-yard keeper on fourth down.

No Houston defender was near Matthews on his second 50-yard scoring catch in the second quarter.

A lost fumble by Robinette set up Farrow's 6-yard touchdown run to start Houston's third-quarter comeback.

Houston built on the momentum. Daniel Spencer's 62-yard run set up O'Korn's 6-yard touchdown pass to Ambles. O'Korn's 58-yard pass to Ambles set up a 30-yard field goal by Kyle Bullard. The Cougars completed their big third-quarter comeback on O'Korn's 67-yard touchdown pass to Greenberry to tie the game.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Vandy linebacker Karl Butler dumps Houston QB Greg Ward.  (USATSI)
Vandy linebacker Karl Butler dumps Houston QB Greg Ward. (USATSI)

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SEC Strength of Schedule Rankings (1:10)
Scoring Summary
VANDYJordan Matthews 50 yd pass from Patton Robinette (Carey Spear kick)
VANDYPatton Robinette 8 yd run (Carey Spear kick)
VANDYCarey Spear 24 yd FG
VANDYJordan Matthews 50 yd pass from Patton Robinette (Carey Spear kick)
HOUKenneth Farrow 6 yd run (Kyle Bullard kick)
HOUMarkeith Ambles 6 yd pass from John O'Korn (Kyle Bullard kick)
HOUKyle Bullard 30 yd FG
HOUDeontay Greenberry 67 yd pass from John O'Korn (Kyle Bullard kick)
VANDYBrian Kimbrow 21 yd run (Carey Spear kick)
VANDYCarey Spear 35 yd FG
VANDYJerron Seymour 2 yd run (Carey Spear kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1412
Third Down Efficiency2-171-17
Fourth Down Efficiency1-11-3
Plays-Net Yards71-36576-384
Passing Yds154238
Kick Return Yds62143
Punt Return Yds186
Time of Poss.35:4124:19
Individual Stats
VANDY: Jerron Seymour 20-89, Brian Kimbrow 13-75, Patton Robinette 15-37, Jordan Matthews 1-8, Wesley Tate 3-2
HOU: Daniel Spencer 3-69, John O'Korn 7-38, Kenneth Farrow 8-28, Kent Brooks 2-8, Ryan Jackson 2-6, Greg Ward Jr. 5--3
VANDY: Patton Robinette 6-19-154-2
HOU: John O'Korn 20-47-228-2, Greg Ward Jr. 1-2-10-0
VANDY: Jordan Matthews 5-143, Jonathan Krause 1-11
HOU: Markeith Ambles 6-105, Deontay Greenberry 6-96, Ryan Jackson 2-26, Demarcus Ayers 2-14, Daniel Spencer 2-4, Greg Ward Jr. 1--2, Rowdy Harper 1--2, Larry McDuffey 1--3
Vanderbilt5th SEC East3-56-7
Houston3rd American Athletic West5-39-4

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