A 50-yard pass from Patton Robinette to Jordan Matthews with 9:57 to go in the first quarter put Vanderbilt ahead 7-0. Late in the second quarter, another 50-yard connection between Robinette and Matthews put Vanderbilt in a comfortable position with a 24-0 lead at halftime.
However, it wouldn't be an easy win for Vandy. After forcing a turnover on downs on the Cougar's first possession of the third quarter, Vandy bumbled and fumbled through the rest of that quarter and entered the final stanza with the score tied at 24.
Vandy woke up in the fourth on both sides of the ball. Brian Kimbrow scored on a 21-yard run with 9:28 to play. Kimbrow finished the game with 75 yards rushing.
Later in the final quarter, Carey Spear booted a 35-yard field goal to put the 'Dores back up by two scores at 34-24.
An interception by Andre Hal returned 29 yards to the Houston 2-yard line set Vanderbilt up for its final points of the game. It took only two plays for Jerron Seymour to score lock up the win for Vanderbilt.
"The thing probably most exciting to me is that there is a culture of winning at Vanderbilt," said a pleased Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin after the game. "These guys know how to win and there a lot of different ways they do it – ugly, pretty. People can describe it however they want. You think about it, consecutive nine win seasons, first time in school history. 24 wins in the last three years, last time that happened was in the 1930s."
Vandy finishes its 2013 season 9-4 (4-4 SEC). Similar to 2012, the Commodores are expected to move into the top 25 later this week.
Houston, which out-gained Vanderbilt in total offensive yards (384-365), finishes its season at 8-5.