The Wolfpacker

January 2017

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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70 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY JACEY ZEMBAL N C State will get a shot at an SEC team at the Camping World Independence Bowl Dec. 26 in Shreveport, La., at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. NC State (6-6 overall) battles Vander- bilt (6-6), which is a rematch of the 2012 Music City Bowl that the Commodores won 38-24 in Nashville, Tenn. NCSU was going through the coaching transition from former head coach Tom O'Brien to cur- rent head coach Dave Doeren, and then- offensive coordinator Dana Bible was the interim coach. Both NC State and Vanderbilt became bowl eligible after defeating their in-state rivals to end the regular season. NC State won at North Carolina 28-21 Nov. 25, and Vanderbilt dominated the second half to defeat Tennessee 45-34 Nov. 26. "We are thankful for the opportunity to play in the Independence Bowl," said Do- eren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 12 of the 15 years he's been a full- time Division I coach. "I'm proud of our team for achieving this goal. We are look- ing forward to playing a great opponent from the SEC." Vanderbilt's lone game against an ACC team resulted in a 38-7 loss at Georgia Tech Sept. 17. The Commodores went 3-1 in non-conference action, with a 31-30 overtime win at Western Kentucky (10-3) Sept. 24 being the best victory. Vanderbilt finished 3-5 in the SEC, with wins over Tennessee, Ole Miss Nov. 19 and at Georgia Oct. 15. The Commodores started just two se- niors on offense — both linemen — and three on defense under third-year head coach Derek Mason, who is also the de- fensive coordinator. Mason has gone 13-23 with the Commodores. Vanderbilt averaged 23.5 points per game offensively and is led by star junior running back Ralph Webb, who rushed 229 times for 1,172 yards and 12 touchdowns. Webb also caught 19 passes for 153 yards. Redshirt junior inside linebacker Zach Cunningham leads the Vanderbilt defense, which allowed 22.6 points per game. Cun- ningham led the team with 119 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, four fumble recover- ies and two forced fumbles. NC State Lands Three On All-ACC Teams NC State senior running back Matthew Dayes rushed for more than 1,000 yards thanks to the blocking of his offensive line this season. Dayes and junior right guard Tony Ad- ams were both named second-team All- ACC by the media. The 5-9, 203-pound Dayes rushed 240 times for 1,119 yards and 10 touchdowns, plus caught 31 passes for 254 yards, in bouncing back from an injury-marred 2015 campaign. He was consistent from start to finish this year, opening his final cam- paign with 138 yards and two touchdowns against William & Mary, and closing out the regular season with 104 yards and two scores in the 28-21 upset win at North Car- olina Nov. 25. Dayes finished with eight games of bet- ter than 100 rushing yards and had a ninth contest with more than 100 all-purpose yards (versus Old Dominion). He goes into WOLFPACK FOOTBALL NC State Set To Play Vanderbilt In Independence Bowl 2016 NC State Football Schedule Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time Sept. 1 William & Mary W, 48-14 Sept. 10 at East Carolina L, 33-30 Sept. 17 Old Dominion W, 49-22 Oct. 1 Wake Forest W, 33-16 Oct. 8 Notre Dame W, 10-3 Oct. 15 at Clemson L, 24-17 (OT) Oct. 22 at Louisville L, 54-13 Oct. 29 Boston College L, 21-14 Nov. 5 Florida State L, 24-20 Nov. 12 at Syracuse W, 35-20 Nov. 19 Miami L, 27-13 Nov. 25 at North Carolina W, 28-21 Dec. 26 vs. Vanderbilt* (ESPN2) 5 p.m. * Camping World Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La. The Wolfpack and Commodores last played in the 2012 Music City Bowl, when Vandy came away with a 38-24 victory. PHOTO BY KEN MARTIN

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