If North Carolina State coaches were auditioning for jobs on new head coach Dave Doeren’s staff, they might want a redo.
N.C. State’s 38-24 Music City Bowl loss to Vanderbilt displayed one of the poorest showing by any team this bowl season simply because the Wolfpack lacked the focus to secure the ball.
And it was from the opening drive.
On that drive, N.C. State had a snap go over quarterback Mike Glennon’s head for a 21-yard loss and things got progressively worse. The Wolfpack committed five turnovers, including four in the first half, that ultimately led to 17 of Vanderbilt ‘s points.
Even when N.C. State wasn’t turning the ball over, its receivers look unfocused. There were a slew of dropped passes and miscommunications. The Wolfpack looked uninspired.
As for Vanderbilt, this game couldn’t have gone any better. Even though it struggled to capitalize on turnovers early, it found a rhythm in the second quarter and couldn’t be stopped.
The win was the ninth for the Commodores – just the third nine-win season in program history – and the 9-4 record is the best since the Commodores went 9-1 in 1915. Also, the game marked the Commodores seventh straight victory, the longest streak since winning eight in 1948.
There’s no doubt these two programs are moving in very different directions as they look ahead to 2013. Doeren will have to rebuild a program for the first time in his head coaching career - he inherited a pretty talented Northern Illinois squad when Jerry Kill left for Minnesota. He’ll also need to replace Glennon, which won’t be an easy task.
Vandy coach James Franklin has to feel pretty good about the direction the Commodores are headed. They've gone from 6-7 in his first season to 9-4 in his second and seem to be gaining more confidence and more support.
This win, the first bowl win for the school since 2008, will only give Vandy more swagger heading into 2013.
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