Vanderbilt continues rewriting its football history with back-to-back bowl wins and back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in history, as they beat Houston 41-24. The SEC has won seven of nine bowl games thus far, with only Auburn’s national championship bid Monday night left.
Here are a few takeaways from another fabulous Commodores’ season:
A tale of two halves: Vanderbilt dominated the first half and went into the locker room up 24-0, holding Houston to just 84 total yards. However, the Cougars scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter to roar back and tie it heading into the fourth quarter at 24 all, after putting up over 300 yards of total offense in the third. Someone must have challenged the Commodores’ offensive line entering the fourth quarter, and the running game behind Jerron Seymour and Brian Kimbrow took over. The secondary forced two INTs, and the Commodores scored 17 unanswered points. Seymour, Kimbrow and QB Patton Robinette all scored rushing touchdowns.
Mr. Matthews: Today we say goodbye to the SEC’s all-time receptions leader and certified badass, Jordan Matthews. What a fabulous career, and he went out the way he wanted, catching five passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He may not wow you in warmups or pass a major eye test, but he can take over a game quickly and is sneaky fast with long strides. He scored on two 50-yard passes in the first half, and he has a big future in the NFL. Hats off to you, Jordan, on a fantastic career and being a pillar of the Vanderbilt program.
Is this the last? That’s the question. James Franklin has been tied to possible openings with the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Penn State (now looks like Al Golden will get it) and even Texas (looks like Charlie Strong will get it), and did he just coach his final game with the Commodores? Selfishly, I hope he stays in the SEC, but knowing Coach Franklin and the person he is, he wants to coach a championship program. Does he think he can build one at Vanderbilt? I’d say we’ll find out in a matter of weeks, or in the next couple years.
Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports