Deacons fall flat versus Vandy

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, November 26, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM — Zac Stacy ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns and Vanderbilt became bowl-eligible by beating sluggish Wake Forest 41-7 on Saturday night.
Quarterback Jordan Rodgers had 229 total yards for the Commodores (6-6). Rodgers, the younger brother of NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, threw for 139 yards and one touchdown and ran for 90 more.
Stacy scored on runs of 1 and 20 yards in the second quarter as Vanderbilt built a 20-point halftime lead, then iced the win for Vanderbilt with his 40-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
Larry Smith, the Commodores’ former starting QB, also hit a 45-yard flanker option pass for a score, and Ryan Fowler made field goals of 33 and 30 yards, as Vanderbilt became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2008.
Tanner Price threw for 157 yards and one touchdown before coming out of the game late in the fourth quarter for the Demon Deacons (6-6), who had their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Aided by Wake Forest mistakes, Vanderbilt drove into the Demon Deacons’ red zone on its first two possessions but came away with only Fowler’s field goals for a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
Wake Forest finally got its offense going near the end of the first quarter. Price hit 4 of 5 passes on a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 10-yarder to Terence Davis in the back of the end zone for a 7-6 Demon Deacons lead with 12:44 left in the second quarter.
But the Commodores responded with three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 27-7 halftime lead. Stacy had two of his touchdown runs, and Rodgers hit Brandon Barden on a 73-yard TD pass.
Catching Wake Forest in a safety blitz, Rodgers hit a wide-open Barden down the sideline. He hurdled one Demon Deacons defender and stiff-armed two others en route to scoring on Vanderbilt’s longest TD pass play of the season.
The Commodores added to their lead in the second half on Dixon’s flanker-option pass to Jordan Matthews with 4:17 left in the third quarter, and Stacy’s 40-yard TD run with 9:04 remaining in the fourth quarter.