VU claims BBVA Compass Bowl
Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews, and
Vanderbilt recovered after blowing a 24-point lead to beat Houston
41-24 on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
starting after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels had season-ending surgery to
repair a torn ACL in his left knee, also had an 8-yard scoring run as
Vanderbilt built a 24-0 lead in the first half.
(8-4) pulled even by scoring 24 points in the third quarter, Vanderbilt
reclaimed the lead on Brian Kimbrow's 21-yard touchdown run. It was the
start of 17 fourth-quarter points for the Commodores.
thing that's probably the most exciting to me is there is a culture of
winning at Vanderbilt," Franklin said. "These guys know how to win. A
lot of different ways they do it, ugly, pretty, people can describe it
however they want."
Vanderbilt (9-4) closed the season with
five straight wins, adding to Franklin's status as a possible candidate
for coaching vacancies, including at Penn State and with the NFL Browns
and Redskins. The Commodores played in three straight bowl games under
Franklin -- a first for the program -- and completed their first
back-to-back nine-win seasons.
Franklin talked after the game
about Vanderbilt's returning players. He left the interview room
without replying when asked if he would be back.
Vandy players doused Franklin with a water bucket in the final seconds.
gained only 22 yards and had one first down in the first half but
rallied with 24 points in the third quarter to pull even. Kenneth
Farrow had a 6-yard scoring run and Deontay Greenberry and John O'Korn
threw scoring passes to Markeith Ambles.
Franklin joked the Houston comeback was arranged to protect the TV ratings.
it was crazy," Franklin said. "Our defense gave up 22 yards in the
first half, 300 yards in the third quarter. We were told by the ESPN
people that the ratings had gone down so we wanted to spike them back
up by making it exciting in the third quarter."
regrouped with two big gains on direct snaps to running backs early in
the fourth quarter. Jerron Seymour ran for 38 yards to the Houston 34.
Kimbrow's touchdown run gave the lead back to Vanderbilt.
McIntosh's interception less than a minute later gave the ball back to
Vanderbilt, setting up Carey Spear's 35-yard field goal.
Seymour added a 2-yard scoring run with less than 2 minutes remaining.
"We turned it around and caught up, but it didn't end the way we wanted it to," Houston linebacker Steve Taylor said.
a senior who set Southeastern Conference records for career catches and
yards receiving, had five catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns and
was selected the game MVP.
only one pass to another receiver -- for 11 yards to Jonathan Krause.
Robinette completed 6 of 17 passes for 154 yards with two touchdowns
and an interception. Seymour had 14 carries for 46 yards.
completed 16 of 31 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Daniel
Spencer had three carries for 69 yards for Houston and Ambles had six
catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Matthews took advantage of a lead block by Krause to make his first touchdown catch.
forced fumble by linebacker Chase Garnham set up the Commodores' second
touchdown. After Houston's O'Korn threw a pass to Greg Ward Jr., a big
hit by Garnham forced the fumbled recovered by Andrew Williamson at the
Houston 16. Robinette, making his third career start, scored on an
8-yard keeper on fourth down.
No Houston defender was near
Matthews on his second 50-yard scoring catch in the second quarter. It
capped a dominant first half for the Commodores.
off slow," Houston coach Tony Levine said. "Depending on how you look
at it, they started off fast. They certainly controlled the line of
scrimmage, specifically when we had the football."
Levine said he told his players at halftime they could make up the 24-point deficit quickly.
talked at halftime and said they scored 24 and we scored zero and
that's what we could do in the third quarter," Levine said. "Lo and
behold, after those 15 minutes, it was all tied up."
A lost fumble by Robinette set up Farrow's 6-yard touchdown run to start Houston's third-quarter comeback.
built on the momentum. Spencer's 62-yard run set up O'Korn's 6-yard
touchdown pass to Ambles. O'Korn's 58-yard pass to Ambles set up a
30-yard field goal by Kyle Bullard. The Cougars completed their big
third-quarter comeback on O'Korn's 67-yard touchdown pass to Greenberry
to tie it.