Monday, December 26, 2016

Vanderbilt and North Carolina State to face off in 2016 Camping World Independence Bowl

Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA (December 26, 2016) On Monday, December 26, 2016, the Camping World Independence Bowl will kick off at 4 p.m. CDT at Independence Bowl Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6, 3-5 SEC) will face the North CarolinaState Wolfpack (6-6, 3-5 ACC). These two teams will be playing each other for the second time is postseason history and the third time in each school’s program history. In 2012, the two teams faced off in the Music City Bowl, with the Commodores downing the Wolfpack by the score of 38-24. In their only other meeting, Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina State 7-0 on November 9, 1946.

Prior to the game on Monday, the bowl game parade and pep rally will be held at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets at 10 a.m. The Coca-Cola Fan Fest will begin at 12 noon on the State Fair Grounds surrounding the stadium. The 41st edition of the bowl, which begin in 1976, will kick off at 4 p.m., followed by a Monday Night Football Viewing party at Hirsch Coliseum adjacent to the stadium. In the inaugural game on December 13, 1976, McNeese State squared off against Tulsa, with the Cowboys defeating the Golden Hurricane 20-16. The Most Valuable Players of the game were McNeese’s Terry McFarland on the offensive side of the ball. Tulsa’s Terry Clark was selected as the MVP on defense

McNeese State went on to play twice more in the Independence Bowl. In 1979, they fell to Syracuse 31-7 and dropped a 16-14 decision to Southern Miss in 1980. Tulsa in 0-3 in bowl history, losing to Oregon 27-24 in 1989 and Virginia Tech 55-52 in 2015.

Vanderbilt will be making its eighth appearance in a post-season bowl game, with their most recent performance being in 2014, where they downed the Houston Cougars 41-24 in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. The Commodores are 4-2-1 in post season play, dating back to the 1955 Gator Bowl, where they beat Auburn 15-13.

The Wolfpack are 15-13-1 in bowl game appearances. Their first post-season game occurred in the 1946 Gator Bowl where they lost to the Oklahoma Sooners 34-13 in Jacksonville, Florida. The most recent appearance was a 51-28 loss to Mississippi State in the 2015 Belk Bowl. The tie came in 1974 against the Houston Cougars; a 31-31 decision in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl held at the Astrodome in Houston.

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