Jan. 4, 2014
Vanderbilt - Houston Postgame Notes
BBVA Compass Bowl - Birmingham, Ala.
January 4, 2014
Vanderbilt is in its 124th year of organized football.
The Commodores wore black helmets with white jerseys and black pants.
Vanderbilt won the toss and elected to receive in the first half.
Attendance was 42,717.
Vanderbilt captains for the game were Walker May, Jordan Matthews, Chase Garnham and Wesley Johnson.
Saturday's game marked the first time Vanderbilt and Houston have ever played.
Vanderbilt's appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday marked the team's third straight bowl appearance under Head Coach James Franklin. Prior to Franklin's arrival the Commodores had played in just four bowls in school history.
The Commodores played at Legion Field for the 30th time in school history and first since 2000. The Dores also played at Legion Field in 1982 against Air Force in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Vanderbilt's 14-0 lead after the first quarter was the team's largest lead after the opening quarter this season.
The Commodores improve to 4-2-1 in bowl games in school history and have now won back-to-back bowl games.
With the victory the Commodores are now 16-4 in the team's last 20 games - the second-best mark among SEC teams behind only Alabama.
The victory also extends the Commodores' winning streak to five games.
Head Coach James Franklin improves to 24-15 as the Commodores' coach matching the legendary Dan McGugin for victories as a Vanderbilt head coach in his first three years.
Vanderbilt finishes the season 9-4 for the second straight season, posing consecutive nine-win seasons for the first time in program history.
Vanderbilt's senior class finishes their tenure on West End 26-25.
Senior Wesley Johnson started his 51st career game for the Commodores, extending his school record and the longest active streak in the SEC.
Jordan Matthews extended his streak to 34 games with a four-yard catch on the game's first play.
Jordan Matthews' 50-yard TD reception in the first quarter gave the Commodores the lead and Matthews' his first TD since the Missouri game October 5.
Andrew Williamson recovered his second fumble of the season after Chase Garnham forced the ball out inside the Houston 20-yard line.
Barron Dixon notched his first full sack since the Missouri game with a sack in the second quarter.
Carey Spear's 24-yard field goal in the second quarter set the school record for single-season scoring with 93 points.
Jordan Matthews broke the BBVA Compass Bowl record for receiving yards in the first half with 143 yards.
In his final game as a Commodore Jordan Matthews notched his first career two TD reception game with two 50-yard TDs in the first half.
Patton Robinette passed for two touchdowns in the first half, marking the first time in his career the QB has tossed two scores in a game.
Brian Kimbrow scored his third rushing TD of the season in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard run to put the Commodores back on top.
Jahmel McIntosh intercepted the first pass of his career in the fourth quarter and returned it inside the Houston 20-yard line. The pick also marked the seventh straight game the Commodores have intercepted a pass.
Andre Hal's sixth career interception late in the game set up the Commodores at the Houston 2-yard line.
Jerron Seymour's two-yard TD in the fourth quarter matched Zac Stacy's school record with 14 rushing scores this season.
Jordan Matthews finished his career with five catches for 143 yards and two TDs to be named the BBVA Compass Bowl MVP.
Matthews' notched his 19th career 100-yard receiving game and finishes his career with 262 receptions, 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns. This season Matthews had 112 catches for 1,477 yards and seven TDs.
Jerron Seymour led all rushers with 89 yards on 20 carries with Brian Kimbrow finishing with 75 yards on 13 carries - his best output of the season.
Andre Hal led the Commodores matching career-bests with nine tackles and three pass break ups.
Karl Butler and Stephen Weatherly each registered two tackles for loss on the day to lead the Dores in that category.
Vanderbilt improved to 22-for-28 on fourth down this year when Patton Robinette converted for the team's second touchdown of the day from eight yards out.
The Commodores' 14 first quarter points were the most by a Vanderbilt team in a bowl game ever.
Vanderbilt outgained Houston 232-22 in the first half, including 154 yards passing.
Vanderbilt's 41 points are the most the team has ever scored in a bowl game, surpassing last season's total of 38 against NC State in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
The Commodores finished the day 4-for-4 in the red zone to improve to 50-for-56 (89%) for the season scoring points in the red zone.
The Commodores forced a turnover for the seventh straight game with a first quarter fumble that gave the Dores 21 forced turnovers during the stretch.
The Vanderbilt defense held Houston to 21 yards of total offense in the first quarter and forced four three-and-outs.
The defense started the game by forcing six straight three-and-outs.
Vanderbilt allowed one first down and 22 yards in the first half, including six yards rushing.
The defense held Houston to three plays or less on nine of the Cougars' 10 first half possessions with the Cougars' longest possession lasting four plays.
Houston's one first down and 18 yards of offense in the first half are the fewest allowed by the Commodores in the James Franklin era.
With Jahmel McIntosh's first career interception in the fourth quarter, the VU defense has now picked off at least one pass in seven straight games.
The defense finished with nine tackles for loss, including four sacks.
The Commodores broke up 10 passes in the game and intercepted two passes.
Special Teams Notes
Colby Cooke earned the starting nod as the team's punter.
Carey Spear's 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave him two field goals on the day and marked his fourth multi-field goal game in the team's last five games.
Colby Cooke punted 10 times in the game for an average of 45.2, placing six punts inside the 20-yard line.