- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

Vanderbilt (6-6, SEC) vs. North Carolina State (6-6, ACC), 5 p.m. EST (ESPN2).

Line: N.C. State by 5½.

Series Record: Vanderbilt leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Vanderbilt wants to keep momentum from an impressive late-season surge that included victories over Mississippi and Tennessee. N.C. State is in a similar position after an upset win in the regular-season finale over rival North Carolina.

KEY MATCHUP

N.C. State’s DE Bradley Chubb vs. Vanderbilt’s improved offense: The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Chubb leads the nation with 21 tackles for a loss, including 9½ sacks. Vanderbilt’s offense exploded for 83 points over its final two games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

N.C. State: RB Matt Dayes. The 5-foot-10, 203-pound senior has 1,119 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns this season. He has run for at least 100 yards eight times.

Vanderbilt: LB Zach Cunningham. The first-team AP All-American leads the SEC with 119 tackles and is second with 16½ tackles for a loss.

FACTS & FIGURES

Dayes is the first player at N.C. State since 2002 to run for at least 1,000 yards in a season. … N.C. State leads the ACC in rushing defense this season, giving up just 104.7 yards per game. … This is N.C. State’s 30th postseason appearance, including its 12th since 2000. The Wolfpack has a 15-13-1 record in the postseason. … Vanderbilt junior Ralph Webb has 3,231 yards rushing in his career, which is a school record. He has 1,172 yards rushing this season and needs 22 more against N.C. State to break Zac Stacy’s single-season school record. … The Commodores are playing in their eighth bowl game in school history. They have a 4-2-1 record coming into the Independence Bowl.

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More AP college football: https://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25


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