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Vanderbilt loses to Stanford, 41-23

Well, this could have gone better.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s game started, like so many have for Vanderbilt over the last couple of years, with a quick touchdown by the other team: Stanford opened the game up with a 4-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to go ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter.

The Commodores responded, though, with a 14-play, 75-yard drive to tie the game at 7. That wasn’t quite the thing of beauty that Vanderbilt’s 14-play, 98-yard drive in the second quarter was; the second touchdown drive tied the game at 14. Vanderbilt was able to hold Stanford to a field goal on the ensuing drive, and with the Commodores having 1:53 left in the half down just 17-14 and getting the ball to start the second half, the opportunity was there.

And then... well, then, the wheels came off. Ken Seals threw an interception deep in Vanderbilt territory on the ensuing drive, which Stanford converted into a touchdown two plays later. The Commodores would then go three-and-out and also leave Stanford enough time on the clock for a 48-yard punt return, which Stanford would then cash in in the form of a field goal with no time left on the clock to give themselves a 27-14 lead going into the half. Then Vanderbilt would come out of the half and promptly go three-and-out again, and Stanford would score again to make it 34-14. In the span of about five minutes of game time, Vanderbilt had gone from down a field goal to down 20.

The final ended up being 41-23, with Stanford adding a late touchdown and Mike Wright throwing a touchdown pass to Cam Johnson as the clock expired. Vanderbilt is now 1-2 on the season and hosts a Georgia team whose fans are salty about last year’s game getting cancelled.