The Vanderbilt Commodores don't have to travel far for their bowl game, as they play just a few miles from campus in the Music City Bowl, trying to seal the most successful season in recent school history against North Carolina State.
The 'Dores have gotten used to bowling recently, as this marks their third appearance in the last five seasons after winning the Music City Bowl in 2008. But it's been a long time since the team has had the success they've seen under James Franklin: this is the first eight-win season Vandy has had since 1982, and will be only their second winning season since then after entering their last two bowl games at 6-6. If they get the win over the Wolf Pack, it will be their first nine-win season since 1915. Jordan Rodgers -- the younger brother of Aaron -- and Jordan Matthews are a potent quarterback-wide receiver combo, with Zac Stacy cracking 1,000 yards on 5.7 yards per carry, but the team's strength is its defense, which allowed only 18.3 points per game.
North Carolina State has fewer storylines going for it, but the Wolf Pack has seven wins under their belt as well. To be fair, six of the teams they beat were certifiably awful, but the seventh was a Florida State squad that was ranked No. 3 in the country at the time they played. Mike Glennon has been the rock of the offense in a strong senior campaign, with 3,648 yards passing.
Here's the info on how to catch New Years' Eve's first game:
Game date and time
Noon ET Dec. 31
LP Field, Nashville, Tenn.
Vanderbilt opened as 5 1/2-point favorites
Last year’s game
Mississippi State, 23, Wake Forest, 17
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