Eight wins and a six-game win streak couldn’t get Vanderbilt out of town.
For the second time in five seasons, the Commodores will cross the Cumberland River and head to LP Field for the Music City Bowl. Awaiting Vanderbilt on New Year’s Eve will be ACC representative North Carolina State.
Though fans had hoped to cross state lines for this holiday season, the Commodores opted to look at the bright side – mainly that they’re in a bowl. That can’t be taken for granted at Vanderbilt.
This marks the program’s sixth bowl overall, third since 2008 and second straight.
“You can never be disappointed with a bowl game, especially when Vanderbilt has had so little in the program’s history,” quarterback Jordan Rodgers said after the announcement was made in front of a crowd of 1,200 at the Student Life Center on Sunday. “Any bowl game is great and it is another opportunity for us to win.”
Vanderbilt (8-4) ended its season with the program’s longest winning streak since 1955 by blowing out Wake Forest 55-21 in the regular-season finale. For the second time in as many games, the Commodores will face an ACC foe.
Vanderbilt and N.C. State have met just once, with the Commodores winning 7-0 in 1946.
The Wolfpack (7-5) are headed to a bowl for the third straight year. Who will be coaching them in the Music City Bowl has not been announced.
N.C. State hired Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren on Saturday. Tom O’Brien was fired after the regular season and offensive coordinator Dana Bible was named the interim coach.
Former Vanderbilt assistant coach Des Kitchings coaches the N.C. State running backs.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin has a history with N.C. State athletics director Debbie Yow. She named him coach-in-waiting in 2009 when both were still at Maryland.
The Commodores will receive an allotment of 12,000 tickets but hope to sell out LP Field, which has a capacity of 69,143. When Vanderbilt edged Boston College 16-14 in the 2008 Music City Bowl it was in front of a scarce crowd of 54,250.
“It is a great opportunity to stake our claim of being Nashville’s team,” Franklin said. “The numbers I threw out being able to sell 55,000 or so tickets I can truly believe we can do that. I don’t think that is a reach. I don’t think that is a stretch. I think that is a realistic thing we can do and make this the best Music City Bowl that has ever been played here. I’m excited about it and I think it makes sense in a lot of different ways.”