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Demon Deacons end season on sour note in Music City

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Wake Forest lost to Vanderbilt 23-21 in Nashville after Casey Spear hits a 38-yard field goal to give the Commodores the victory.

Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels
Quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Battered, bruised and beset by injuries to key players, the 2013 Wake Forest football season finally came to an end Saturday in a crushing 23-31 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. Head coach Jim Grobe, who entered Saturday's game needing one victory to become Wake Forest's all-time leader in coaching victories, now has to find a way to fix a program that has now finished with 5 straight losing seasons.

Vanderbilt (8-4, 4-4 SEC) outgained the Deacs 403-266 and held the ball for over 38 minutes as the Deacs were once again unable to generate any consistent offense without a running game and a healthy Michael Campanaro. Senior quarterback Tanner Price ended his Wake Forest career by going 16-32 for 155 yards passing to go with 1 interception in the loss. Price was also once again the Deacs' leading rusher, despite early success from senior tailback Josh Harris (7 rushes, 35 yards).

Wake Forest (4-8, 2-6 ACC) held a 1-point advantage with 5:07 remaining after a Wesley Tate fumble was recovered by Anthony Wooding, Jr. at the Wake 28 yard-line. However, the Deacs were unable to advance the ball and punted the ball back to the Commodores with 3:31 to play. The Demon Deacon defense forced a 4th-and-11 from the Wake Forest 48, when standout wide receiver Jordan Matthews snagged a beautiful 25-yard pass to put the 'Dores within field goal range. Three plays later, Carey Spear drilled a 38-yard kick to give Vanderbilt the lead. Wake Forest mounted a late rally, driving to the Vanderbilt 44, but Tanner Price took a sack for a 9-yard loss to end any hopes of a Wake Forest comeback.

Speculation now begins anew for the Demon Deacons, who were built to win this season based on an experienced cadre of seniors and a suspension of Grobe's redshirt policy. Reliable sources have indicated that a coaching change at the top will most likely not occur, unless Grobe decides to step aside. Regardless of what happens in the coaching ranks, the Deacs need will enter 2014 likely picked to finish last in the Atlantic division.

Stay tuned to BSD for more from this game, including postgame quotes.