NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt officially accepted an invitation Sunday to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Houston, to be played Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium on ESPN. Vanderbilt will face Baylor of the Big 12 Conference.
The Dores (6-6, 3-5 SEC) return to the postseason for the first time since 2016 when they faced North Carolina State in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26, 2016. Vanderbilt’s trip to the Texas Bowl marks the program’s ninth all-time appearance, but its sixth in the past 10 seasons. The Commodores are 4-3-1 all-time in postseason play and seek their first bowl victory since a 41-24 win over Houston in the 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl.
Derek Mason becomes just the second Vanderbilt head coach to lead the Commodores to two bowl games in a three-season span.
Vanderbilt clinched bowl eligibility by virtue of its 38-13 win over rival Tennessee on Nov. 24. The Commodores beat the Volunteers for the third straight time since the program capped a six-game winning streak over Tennessee in 1926. Senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur earned co-SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors after completing 31-of-35 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns versus the Vols.
This season, Vanderbilt notched additional SEC victories over Arkansas, 45-31, on Oct. 27, and Ole Miss, 36-29, on Nov. 17. The Commodores also finished 3-1 in nonconference play, falling in a tight 22-17 loss at No. 3 Notre Dame on Sept. 15.