Vanderbilt's third attempt at a sixth victory didn't go any better than the first two, as Duke pulled off a 10-7 win over the Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday.
The 'Dores had a chance with just over a minute left for the game-winning or tying drive, starting at the 8-yard line. VU drove to the Duke 39 with 46 seconds left, but Mackenzi Adams was intercepted on a pass attempt to Sean Walker in the end zone.
The loss means Vanderbilt is still searching for a sixth victory that would bring bowl eligibility. The next chance for Vanderbilt to attain that mark is Nov. 8 vs. Florida.
"We've got four more games, one more will get us bowl eligible," said Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson. "This is a great lesson."
Even though the 'Dores are off next week, Johnson said this week of practice will be an "on week."
The Commodores (5-3) fell behind in the second quarter thanks to a 22-yard touchdown pass from Duke's Thaddeus Lewis to Tony Jackson. The Blue Devils finished the 60-yard scoring drive with 54 seconds left in the first half.
In the third, Duke extended its lead by recovering a Jamie Graham fumble on a punt return. Four plays later, Duke's Nick Maggio booted through a 42-yard field goal attempt to give the Blue Devils a 10-0 lead.
Vanderbilt showed some life at the end of the third quarter when the Commodores' Chris Marve forced a Lewis fumble that was recovered by VU's T.J. Greenstone.
A few plays into the fourth quarter, Adams found Walker with a pass that went for a 79-yard touchdown. Bryant Hahnfeldt's point-after kick cut the score to 10-7.
"I felt like we could have gone deep all day," Walker said.
Duke had a chance to add to its lead just before halftime when it blocked a Vandy punt with 24 seconds left, but Maggio missed a 43-yard field goal attempt.
"All losses hurt. We'll just try to come back and get better," Adams said.