College Football

Camping World Independence Bowl Features North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt


The 2016 Camping World Independence Bowl will pit the SEC’s Vanderbilt Commodores against the ACC’s North Carolina State Wolfpack, in a contest scheduled for Monday December 26, with kickoff at 5 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. It will be the 41st edition of Independence Bowl game in Shreveport.
The Wolfpack (6-6, 3-5 ACC) will be playing in their third consecutive bowl game. Vanderbilt (6-6, 3-5 SEC) will be squaring off in their first bowl appearance since the 2013 season.
Tailback Ralph Webb is an important weapon for the Commordores offense, rushing for 1,172 yards and 12 touchdowns. QB Kyle Shurmur was instrumental in leading Vanderbilt to wins over Mississippi and arch rival Tennessee in their final two games to qualify for bowl eligibility. He threw for 2,251 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. 
Linebacker Zach Cunningham paces the Vandy defense. He was the leading tackler in the SEC, with 119, and he recovered four fumbles.
Derek Mason is finishing his third season as the head coach at Vandy.
NC State has a bruising ground attack behind senior tailback Matt Dayes. He carried the ball for 1,119 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the season. Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley completed over 60 percent of his passes, throwing 15 TD passes. Stephen Louis, Jaylen Samuels and Kelvin Harmon were three of his favored receiving targets.
Safety Josh Jones led the Wolfpack defense in tackles with 106, along with two interceptions. Bradley Chubb was also solid on the defensive line, with 21 tackles for a loss. 
Dave Doeren is in his fourth season as head coach for NC State.
Vanderbilt beat the Wolfpack in the 2012 Music City Bowl at Nashville. Look for NC State to get some measure of revenge for that loss in this game.
Prediction:  NC State 28, Vanderbilt 17

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