Wake Forest (4-7) at Vanderbilt (7-4)|
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 12:21 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Vanderbilt Stadium (40,550) -- Nashville, Tennessee.
Television: SEC Network. Home Record: WF 3-3, Vandy 4-2. Away Record: WF 1-4,
Vandy 3-2. Neutral Record: WF 0-0, Vandy 0-0. Conference Record: WF 2-6, Vandy
4-4. Series: Vandy leads, 9-6.
GAME NOTES: The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will close out their 2013 season on
Friday afternoon in Nashville when they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in a
It has been a trying season in Winston-Salem, as Wake Forest enters its final
contest mired in a four-game losing streak. The Demon Deacons coughed up a 14-
point lead against nationally-ranked Duke in last weekend's eventual 28-21
loss. Head coach Jim Grobe remains stuck on win No. 77 and in a tie with
"Peahead" Walker for the most in program history.
Meanwhile, Vanderbilt will try for consecutive eight-win regular seasons for
the first time since 1927-28. The Commodores are bowl eligible and enter the
regular-season finale riding a three-game winning streak. They are coming off
last weekend's 14-10 triumph at Tennessee.
Vandy holds a 9-6 lead in the all-time series, including a 55-21 triumph in
last year's meeting.
Wake Forest's offense has been among the least efficient units in the Football
Bowl Subdivision this season, ranking 114th in scoring (18.1 ppg) and 117th in
total yardage (292.9 ypg). But the Deacs offense did manage to put a couple of
touchdowns on the board against Duke after being held to a total of three
points over their previous two contests. However, they were shut out after the
10:50 mark of the third quarter against the Blue Devils.
Senior quarterback Tanner Price ran for a touchdown and threw for one, marking
the fourth time this season he has done that in a game. Price has accounted
for 64 touchdowns in his career (52 passing, 11 rushing, one receiving), which
is just one short of Riley Skinner's school record of 65.
The Demon Deacons' first score came courtesy of their defense, as true
freshman Thomas Brown scored on a 59-yard fumble recovery and return. He was
the first true freshman to score for Wake since Price did so against Duke in
2010. In fact, the Deacs defense was able to set the tone early one, as they
forced the Blue Devils into four three-and-outs plus that fumble over their
first five series. But as the game wore on, Duke wore on the Wake defense and
eventually took the lead following back-to-back touchdowns in the third
quarter. Cornerback Merrill Noel finished with seven tackles (1.0 TFL) and a
forced fumble before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the second
Vanderbilt does not boast an explosive offense by any means, but it is an
efficient unit. Vandy tops the SEC in red-zone success, having scored on 41-
of-47 such opportunities (87 percent), including 33 TDs (70 percent). Through
11 games last year, the Commodores came away with six points on only 18 of 41
red-zone possessions (44 percent). Sophomore running back Jerron Seymour
tallied his 13th rushing TD on a four-yard carry in the first quarter, and he
is one TD shy of matching the team record shared by Zac Stacy (2011) and
Allama Matthews (1982).
The clinching touchdown was scored on a five-yard run by freshman Patton
Robinette with 16 seconds to play in regulation, capping a 12-play, 92-yard
drive. It was Vandy's longest touchdown drive in two years. Austyn Carta-
Samuels was clutch on that decisive drive, completing 6-of-7 passes for 77
Commodores senior safety Kenny Ladler leads the SEC in both forced fumbles
(five) and interceptions (five). In fact, he notched an interception and a
forced fumble against Tennessee, and has accumulated four picks and five
forced fumbles over his last six games. Vandy's defense held Tennessee to its
lowest point total in the head-to-head series since 1968. And despite a
depleted secondary, the Commodores limited the Vols to just 53 passing yards,
the lowest total by an SEC opponent in the James Franklin Era.
Senior linebacker Chase Garnham was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for
his role in the win. Garnham, a defensive co-captain, had a season-high seven
solo tackles and finished with a team-best 10 stops in all. Redshirt freshman
cornerback Paris Head was thrust into action when both starting corners went
to the sidelines. Head intercepted two passes, one of which came on a fake
field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.
These teams have seen their respective seasons veer in opposite directions.
The Demon Deacons have only pride to play for here, but they are simply
running into a more talented Vanderbilt team that is playing at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Vanderbilt 34, Wake Forest 14
11/27 11:09:55 ET