Looking for a NC State vs. Vanderbilt preview ahead of their matchup in the Independence Bowl? Stick around. We’ve got all of the pre-game analysis before the big matchup.
Monday, Dec. 26, the North Carolina State Wolfpack takes on the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Independence Bowl. The game, to be played at Independence Stadium, is slated for a 5:00 p.m. ET start time and will be broadcast on ESPN 2. Read on for our NC State vs. Vanderbilt preview.
According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, NC State wins the matchup between the two teams 52.5% of the time. The spread, via OddsShark, has the Wolfpack favored as well.
Spread: NC State -4
Game Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Channel: ESPN 2
NC State vs. Vanderbilt preview:
Vanderbilt (6-6) closed out the regular season on a two-game winning streak picking up home wins against both Ole Miss and Tennessee. NC State (6-6) won two of its last three games including its season finale over North Carolina.
The Wolfpack lost four straight games in the middle of the season and instead of folding, bounced back to beat the Tar Heels on the road. Ryan Finley threw for 2,820 yards and 15 touchdowns in the regular season while running back Matthew Dayes was a playmaker as well rushing for 1,119 yards and 10 scores.
Vanderbilt looked fantastic in its last two games of the year beating up on Ole Miss 38-17 and Tennessee 45-34 the very next week. Running back Ralph Webb may be the country's best kept secret as he rushed for 1,172 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season.
NC State lost to Mississippi State 51-28 in last year's Belk Bowl. Vanderbilt last played in a bowl in 2014 in which it beat Houston 41-24 in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
NC State vs. Vanderbilt Prediction:
Vanderbilt looked absolutely stellar in the last two weeks of the season on both sides of the ball. NC State may have momentum on its side as well, but not like the 'Dores do.
Webb along with Vanderbilt's extremely strong defense will top NC State giving Vandy a win in Shreveport, Louisiana.