WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — After a two-hour weather delay just minutes into the game, Vanderbilt football fell, 36-20, to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem on Saturday.
The Demon Deacons took an early lead, making a 25-yard field goal after an interception on Vanderbilt’s opening drive. Wake Forest continued their momentum into the second quarter when Jamal Banks recorded a seven-yard passing touchdown from Mitch Griffis.
Vanderbilt answered on the next drive. AJ Swann completed a season-long 50-yard pass to Jayden McGowan, which was followed by a 7-yard touchdown catch by Will Sheppard.
Both teams scored an additional touchdown in the second quarter. The Demon Deacons scored on a drive that lasted 14 plays, 75 yards and 6:41.
Swann completed a 48-yard pass to freshman receiver London Humphreys for a first down. On the next play, Sheppard caught a 10-yard pass from Swann to score his second touchdown of the game.
With 50 seconds left in the first half, Wake Forest scored a touchdown off a fumble on a punt return to lead 24-14 heading into the break.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Matthew Dennis made a 44-yard field goal to put Wake Forest in front 27-14.
The Demon Deacons’ momentum continued into the fourth quarter when Griffis recorded a 24-yard touchdown pass to Ke’Shawn Williams. Later in the quarter, Dennis made a 20-yard field goal, his second of the contest.
With 9:08 left in the game, Swann found Humphreys in the end zone, completing a 30-yard touchdown pass. With that scoring drive, Swann surpassed the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in his career, and Humphreys recorded his first game with more than 100 receiving yards.
CJ Taylor and De’Rickey Wright led the Commodores defensively, tallying 10 tackles a-piece and tying their career bests. Taylor also recorded a career-high two sacks during the game.
Sheppard now has 19 career touchdowns, which is the sixth-most in program history. Earl Bennett (2005-07) and Chuck Scott (981-84) are tied at No. 4 on the list with 20 receiving touchdowns. He has recorded two touchdowns in each of the three games thus far this season, a feat he accomplished three times in 12 games in 2022.
Vanderbilt football will face UNLV on Saturday, September 16 in its second road test of the season. The contest will be the Commodores’ fourth and final nonconference game of the season.