Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24
Jordan Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Vanderbilt Commodores capped their best season since 1915 by beating North Carolina State in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday.
The Commodores finished 9-4 for their best record since going 9-1 in 1915, and it’s only the third time the smallest and only private university in the Southeastern Conference has won as many as nine games in a season.
Vanderbilt forced a season-high five turnovers, including four in the first half, and turned those into 17 points.
N.C. State (7-6) wrapped up the season under interim coach Dana Bible snapping a two-game bowl winning streak. The Wolfpack had their fifth game this season with at least four turnovers.
The Commodores took control from the opening drive, moving 65 yards for a touchdown that put them ahead to stay. Officials initially called Chris Boyd out of bounds, but review showed the sophomore got the toes of his right foot down for a 5-yard TD pass from Rodgers.
Commodores safety Kenny Ladler picked off a Glennon pass at the North Carolina State 45 for Vanderbilt’s fifth interception in three games.
Vanderbilt finally converted the third turnover as Stacy, Vanderbilt’s all-time leading rusher, carried four straight times with the last three off the wildcat. Zac Stacy scored on a 6-yard run with 10:08 left in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Tony Creecy scored on a 1-yard TD run for the Wolfpack. But Vanderbilt stuck with the wildcat, and Wesley Tate scored on a 7-yard TD run for a 21-7 lead with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
Tobias Palmer, who struggled catching the ball on his first two kickoff returns, caught the next cleanly and ran untouched 94 yards for a TD to keep the Wolfpack within 21-14.
But Vanderbilt led 28-14 at halftime when Rodgers tossed his second TD pass.
Georgia Tech 21, Southern California 7
Southern California was ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season, and Matt Barkley was a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy. The year ended with Barkley on the sideline as the Trojans lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to lead the Yellow Jackets to a victory in front of a crowd of 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium.
Washington’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he found Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
Barkley, the first three-time captain in team history, injured his right shoulder in a loss to UCLA and was not cleared to play. He clapped as the Trojans (7-6) took the field against Georgia Tech.
Max Wittek tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Redd in the second quarter, but also threw three interceptions. Redd also had 88 yards rushing on 17 carries.
The Trojans struggled to contain Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets (7-7) rushed for 294 yards on 63 carries while stopping a seven-bowl losing streak.
David Sims had 99 yards on 17 carries, but he got plenty of help. Zach Laskey added 60 yards on six carries, Lee had 52 on 10 carries and Washington had 16 attempts for 46 yards for the No. 4 rushing team in the nation.
Sims also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Vad Lee in the first quarter.
Lee and Washington combined to go just 5-for-10 passing, but two completions went for TDs passes and two more covered 26 and 49 yards and keyed two of the scoring drives.
Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17
Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards, Alex Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa beat Iowa State (6-7) in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., avenging a season-opening loss to the Cyclones.
Iowa State rallied to beat Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1, but the Golden Hurricane put together the comeback in the rematch. Tulsa trailed 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Golden Hurricane (11-3) posted the second 11-win season in school history. Tulsa, which has the smallest enrollment of any Football Bowl Subdivision program, also finished 11-3 in 2008.
Tulsa scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second quarter to pull ahead for good.
No. 14 Clemson 25, No. 9 LSU 24
Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to give Clemson a wild win over Louisiana State. Trailing 24-22, Clemson (11-2) took possession on its 20 with 1:39 remaining. Tajh Boyd completed a pass for 26 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on a fourth-and-16 play during the decisive 10-play drive.
Hopkins, who had 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns, also had receptions for 7 and 13 yards in the final drive. LSU (10-3) safety Greg Reid was flagged for pass interference defending Hopkins.