Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 37-34 loss to Mississippi:
How the game was won
Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made a leaping catch over Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown that gave Mississippi a comeback victory.
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1. Jordan Ta’amu. In his first SEC road start, the Ole Miss quarterback (31-of-40 for 382 yards and four touchdowns) was brilliant.
2. D.K. Metcalf. An unbelievable catch against good coverage to win the game.
3. Ole Miss wide receiving corps. Billed coming into the game as the best in the SEC and were every bit that.
4. Matt Luke. Coming off a crushing defeat the week before to Arkansas in a season in which Ole Miss has no postseason opportunity due to self-imposed sanctions, the Mississippi interim head coach nevertheless had his team fighting hard.
5. Benny Snell. The Kentucky running back star (28 carries, 176 yards, three TDs) is getting stronger as the season plays out.
1. Kentucky conservatism. As happened when UK had a chance to put Florida away earlier this year, UK had a 27-17 lead and started a drive at the Mississippi 49 with 10:58 left in the third quarter and went three-and-out on three straight run plays.
2. Kentucky defense. Torched for 473 yards albeit against a very good offense.
2-9. SEC East teams are now 2-9 against SEC West foes this season.
For the ninth game of the 2017 season, Kentucky wore white helmets, blue jerseys with white numbers and letters and white pants. UK is now 3-1 this year in blue jerseys.
Kentucky (6-3 overall, 3-3 SEC) will travel to Nashville next Saturday to face Vanderbilt (4-5, 0-5 SEC) at 4 p.m. (EST) in a game to be telecast on the SEC Network. The Commodores beat Western Kentucky 31-17 Saturday.
Know your foe
1. Vanderbilt is 4-0 in non-league games, including a win at then-No. 18 Kansas State, but 0-5 in SEC contests.
2. In two prior visits, Mark Stoops has never won at Vanderbilt Stadium as UK head coach. In Stoops’ first season, UK lost at Vandy 22-6 in 2013. Two years ago, Kentucky fell 21-17 in Nashville in a game where UK essentially self-destructed. The last Wildcats coach to beat Vanderbilt on the road was Rich Brooks, who won three in a row at Vandy (2005, ’07, ’09) after losing on his first trip in 2003.
3. At Trinity High School, Ryan White was a teammate of former Louisville wide receiver James Quick and ex-Kentucky defensive end Jason Hatcher. Now, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound White is Vanderbilt’s fourth-leading tackler with 44 stops. A senior safety, White also has four tackles for loss, three passes defended, two pass breakups and an interception.