Wake Forest 34, Vanderbilt 13

NASHVILLE-- Josh Harris rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown and Wake Forest blocked two punts as the Demon Deacons spoiled Vanderbilt's Senior Day and Robbie Caldwell's final game as head coach with a 34-13 victory over the Commodores. The game was marred with blown scoring opportunities by Vanderbilt as the 'Dores had almost 150 more yards offense and 13 more first downs than the Demon Deacons.

On its first drive Vanderbilt drove to the Wake 38 and then went for it on fourth-and-4. Kennard Reeves took a pitch from Jared Funk and then ran for a first down. But the drive stalled at the Wake 15 and the Commodores had to settle for a 31-yard Ryan Fowler field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 11:46 remaining in the initial quarter.

The remainder of the half would be dominated by the Deacons. On their first drive, Wake Forest quickly drove 70 yards in seven plays before Josh Harris scored on a 15-yard run with 9:07 to play in the first quarter to put Wake on top, 7-3.

On Vanderbilt's second drive, Funk had a pass intercepted at the VU 31 to give Wake excellent field position. However, the Wake drive stalled at the Vanderbilt 15. The Demon Deacons settled on a 32-yard field goal by Jimmy Newman to take a 10-3 lead with 5:12 to go in the first quarter.

With 10 minutes left in the second quarter Wake Forest faced a third-and-2 deep in its own territory. But Josh Harris ran 72 yards to the VU 11. On the next play Josh Adams scored an 11-yard touchdown run to give the Deacons a commanding 17-3 lead with 10:09 remaining before the half.

A blocked Vanderbilt punt with 3:44 left in the first half again gave the Deacons excellent field position, this time at the VU 11. Tanner Price scored on a 5-yard run to extend the Wake lead to 24-3 with 2:28 left in the half.

With two minutes left before the half, Jordan Matthews caught a 20-yard pass from Funk at the Wake 9-yard-line that put Vandy in fine scoring position. However, on the next play Funk was sacked followed by a holding penalty which put the ball back at the 31. But Funk completed a 22-yard pass to Barden at the VU 9 to bring up third-and-goal. After a Funk incompletion, with 9 seconds remaining and facing a fourth down situation, Ryan Fowler made a 31-yard field goal to make it 24-6 Wake Forest at the half.

The Commodores missed on several opportunities in the first half, driving three times to the Wake 35 or closer but coming up empty. Fowler missed a 51-yard field goal with near the end of the second quarter and later missed a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter. Vandy also drove to the Wake 35 in the second quarter but was forced to punt after Funk was sacked for a 12-yard loss.

The advance but don't score offense continued in the second half. On its first drive of the third quarter the Commodores drove quickly deep into Wake territory, however, once again the drive stalled. Faced with a fourth-and-5 at the Wake 27, Funk's pass was broken up.

With 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter the Deacons blocked second Vanderbilt punt which gave them the ball at the Vanderbilt 27. Four plays later, Newman's 36-yard field goal put Wake Forest up 27-6 with 5:17 to go in the third.

Wake struck again early in the fourth quarter when Chris Givens rumbled in from 9 yards to give Wake a 34-6 lead with 14:47 left in the game.

Vanderbilt avoided being held touchdown less on Senior Day when Funk completed a 17-yard scoring pass to Jordan Matthews with 12:26 left in the fourth quarter. The six play scoring drive was kept alive when Funk scrambled for a first down on third and long.

Later, Vanderbilt again drove deep into Wake territory only to see another Funk pass picked off, this time in the end zone.

"We continued to shoot ourselves in the foot and didn't score points," said Caldwell. "I see we had about double the amount of first downs. Same story, different chapter. I'm proud of them and they continued to play hard, particularly after a tough day for them."

During Caldwell's final press conference he still maintained the same sense of humor he had when he addressed the media the first time in July. Expressing his displeasure in several pass interference no-calls Caldwell poked fun at the officials.

"Now that I'm no longer here, that crew tonight was unbelievable," said Caldwell. "I told them I was a perfect fit: my eye-sight is bad, I'm out of shape and fat, you get the best seat in the house and you get paid for it."

Earlier during the traditional pre game Star Walk Caldwell waved and smiled at appreciative fans as he walked toward the stadium entrance.

In a pre-game ceremony Vanderbilt recognized 17 seniors who were about to play their last games as Commodores. One-by-one, the senior's names and hometowns were called out. The players then ran out the big inflatable helmet and though the 'V' formed by the Spirit of Gold marching band. The players joined their parents and other family members at midfield where they were given flowers and thanked by Vice Chancellor David Williams.

Vanderbilt finishes its season with a 2-10, (1-7 SEC) record. Wake Forest improves to 3-9 (1-7 ACC).

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