The 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl was a game of runs, with the Vanderbilt Commodores coming out on top after surviving a second-half comeback by the Houston Cougars. The Commodores won their second straight bowl game, defeating the Cougars 41-24 Saturday afternoon.
Leading 24-0 at halftime, Vanderbilt looked ready to run away with things in what could be head coach James Franklin's final game at the school. Patton Robinette had three total touchdowns in the first half with a pair of 50-yard tosses to star wide receiver Jordan Matthews and an eight-yard run.
Houston responded in the third quarter, scoring 24 straight points to tie it up and essentially start the game over in the fourth quarter. John O'Korn threw for two touchdown passes while Kenneth Farrow ran for one, leaving the game at 24-24 heading into the final quarter.
Vanderbilt broke Houston's run early in the fourth quarter, when Brian Kimbrow took the ball up the middle 21 yards for the touchdown, giving the Commodores the lead back at 31-24. O'Korn threw an interception on the ensuing drive, and Vanderbilt hit a field goal to extend the lead to 10 points.
O'Korn threw another interception with about 2:30 left, allowing Vanderbilt to punch the ball in two plays later on Jerron Seymour's two-yard run. That finalized the game's score at 41-24.
For the Commodores, it was their third straight bowl game and second straight bowl win, both new marks for a program that has struggled historically.
Vanderbilt bowl wins, beginning of time to 2011: Two. Vanderbilt bowl wins, 2012 to today: Two. #jamesfranklin— SB Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) January 4, 2014
Box Score Hero: Jordan Matthews. The Vanderbilt wide receiver caught five passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Commodores, as a team, completed six passes for 154 yards and two scores.
Rankings Ramifications: At 9-4, Vanderbilt has a good chance to sneak back into the final rankings for the second consecutive season.
But Did They Cover? Vanderbilt was a 1.5 point favorite at kickoff, so they covered the spread.
For More On This Game: For more on the Commodores, check out Anchor of Gold.