Thumbs up, thumbs down: How UK lost to Vandy

November 12, 2011 

First quarter

Summary: Punter Ryan Tydlacka could not handle a low snap and was tackled at the UK 3. One play later, Vandy led 7-0. VU was threatening again when Randall Burden picked off a pass at the goal line. UK kept its drive going, converting fourth-and-inches at its own 39.

Thumbs up: Burden's interception seemed to change momentum.

Thumbs down: UK handed Vandy a gift TD on attempted punt. Can't win that way.

Second quarter

Summary: The UK offense showed a spark but sputtered. VU then began to mix the run and the pass, driving 86 yards to score on a 14-yard pass on third-and-13. UK QB Max Smith struggled. Vandy took control with a 59-yard TD drive. Vandy was dominating.

Thumbs up: A Kentucky home crowd did not have to watch this.

Thumbs down: Complete breakdown in all areas (278-41 yards, 19-4 first downs for half).

Third quarter

Summary: Smith looked sharper in the second half but UK had trouble sustaining anything until the end of the quarter. Jordan Matthews broke several UK tackles on a 49-yard TD catch to make it 31-0. UK finally scored on a 22-yard TD strike from Smith to Nick Melillo.

Thumbs up: La'Rod King's nice 47-yard catch and run on fourth-and-2 set up UK's score.

Thumbs down: UK, one of SEC's least-penalized teams, kept shooting self in foot.

Fourth quarter

Summary: Kentucky had a chance to cut into Vanderbilt's lead early in the quarter but a sack of Smith stopped a drive. Zac Stacy seemed to carry the entire UK defense on an 18-yard touchdown run and it was 38-8.

Thumbs up: The early start allowed fans a free Saturday evening.

Thumbs down: Worst UK loss to Vandy since 1969 (42-6). Nixon was serving first term.

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