Cat Walk: Fans welcome UK football back to Kroger Field to take on Vanderbilt
Last year, coming off a bye weekend, Kentucky was mauled by 38 points at Mississippi State. Rust never sleeps. So this year UK head coach Mark Stoops put in a new bye week plan. We’ll see if it worked when the Cats play host to Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Kroger Field. The SEC Network has the telecast.
Check here for updates and analysis throughout the game. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter. Accounts to monitor include @johnclayiv, @jenheraldleader, @markcstory, @benrobertshl, @alexslitzphoto, @kentuckysports.
Final: Kentucky 14, Vanderbilt 7
Josh Allen causes fumble and Mike Edwards recovers
UK’s outside linebacker sacked Shumur, who lost the ball, which bounced right to UK safety Mike Edwards. Cats take over with 1:04 remaining holding a seven-point lead.
Benny Snell with 169 rushing yards on 32 carries
Kentucky picked up one first down, then was forced to punt. Commodores start from own 14 with 2:10 left. UK still up 14-6.
Kentucky forces Vanderbilt punt
A holding penalty sets back the Commodores, who have to punt after four plays, the last two incompletions. Nice pass break-up by UK safety Davonte Robinson. Kentucky takes over at own 31 with 5:55 left, up 14-7.
UK gives the ball to Benny and takes the lead
Benny Snell carried 10 times on a 12-play, 80-yard drive, including the final play, a 7-yard touchdown run with 8:04 left to put the Cats in front 14-7. Snell now has 150 yards on 27 carries. All 12 plays on the drive were runs.
Kentuck makes big fourth-down stop
Vanderbilt elects to go for it on fourth-and-one at the UK 16, but Wakefield is stuffed, fumbles and UK recovers. Kash Daniel caused the fumble. Quentin Bohanna recovers. There’s 13:43 left in the game. Tied 7-7.
End of third quarter: Kentucky 7, Vanderbilt 7
But the Commodores are inside the Red Zone. A 49-yard pass from Shurmur to Boler put Vandy at the UK 25. One play later, the Commodores are at the 19 as the quarter expires.
Kentucky misses 39-yard field goal
After the Vandy miss, the home team drove from its 20-yard line to the Vanderbilt 21, where Miles Butler missed a 39-yard field goal. The ball might have been tipped at the line. So we’re still tied 7-7 with 2:55 left in the third quarter here at Kroger Field. Kentucky leads the total yardage battle 201-171, but neither team is acting like they want to win this struggle against the wind.
Vanderbilt misses 31-yard field goal
The Commodores drove from their own 42 to the UK 13-yard line before the drive stalled. Then Ryley Guay missed the 31-yard field goal, into the wind, wide left. Kentucky thought it had a pass interception on the drive. Derrick Baity picked off a pass only to be called for defensive holding, nullifying the pick. It was the second big play by Kentucky in the third quarter that was nullified by penalty. There’s 9:33 left in third quarter and we’re tied at 7-7.
Kentucky goes three-and-out on first second half possession
Lynn Bowden returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back by a holding penalty on Tavin Richardson. Instead of six points, UK started at own 19 and promptly went three-and-out.
Halftime: Kentucky 7, Vanderbilt 7
Very windy first half, with plenty of gusty winds blowing across the field. Not much offense. Vanderbilt had 141 total yards to 129 for Kentucky. Click here for the first half stats.
UK gets ball back with 3:59 left in first half
Vanderbilt moved the ball from its own 8-ayrd line to the UK 40 where the drive stalled. Commodores punt. We have not seen Vandy running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who left the Florida game with a leg injury but was expected to play against UK.
Kentucky ties it 7-7 with 6:28 left in first half
UK drives 48 yards in 11 plays to tie the score. The touchdown came on a nice five-yard pass from Terry Wilson to Lynn Bowden in the left corner of the end zone. Before this possession, UK had scored seven points on its last 21 possessions, dating back to the second half of the South Carolina game.
End of first quarter: Vanderbilt 7, Kentucky 0
UK held Vandy after that second turnnover, forcing a Commodores punt. But the UK offense has not been able to get much going in the first quarter. The Cats were outgained 81-65. Click here for the first quarter stats.
Kentucky turns it over a second time
On second play after the kickoff, a Wilson backwards pass for Lynn Bowden goes off the receiver’s hands. Vanderbilt recovers at UK 40. It’s the second straight possession the Commodores have started in UK territory. We have 6:10 left in the first quarter.
Vanderbilt turns Kentucky turnover into a 7-0 lead
The visitors got the ball first and drove to the UK 35 before a Josh Allen sack and an intentional grounding call forced the Commodores to punt. On UK’s second play from scrimmage, however, quarterback Terry Wilson fumbled away the football on a zone read. Vandy took over on the Kentucky 44 and and scored six plays later with quarterback Kyle Shurmur hitting C.J. Bolar for a 29-yard touchdown pass. It’s Vandy 7-0 with 6:54 left in the first quarter.
Kentucky players to watch
Benny Snell: UK’s star running back was held to just 60 yards on 13 carries in the Cats’ 20-14 overtime loss at Texas A&M last time out. He gained 22 yards on his final two attempts in regulation, then did not touch the ball in overtime. On the season, Snell is seventh nationally in yards per game, averaging 116.5. He rushed for 116 yards on 17 carries in UK’s 44-21 win at Vanderbilt last season.
Josh Allen: Bruce Feldman of The Athletic named Allen the best outside linebacker in the nation over the first half of the college football season. Now if the opponents would only stop holding him. UK Coach Mark Stoops admitted this week that he has made the conference office aware of the belief the senior is being held on a consistent basis. That’s as far as Stoops would go publicly, however, for fear of being fined by the league office.
Terry Wilson: The sophomore quarterback from Oklahoma is coming off a sub-par showing at College Station. Terry Touchdown looked indecisive about whether to stick with is reads in the passing game or take off running on scrambles. When Wilson did run, the Aggies were close behind. He ended up netting just four yards in 14 attempts. Wilson has had an extra week to look at the tape. And he’s back home.
Vanderbilt players to watch
Ke’Shawn Vaughn: The junior running back out of Nashville took off on a 43-yard run and later took a screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown in last week’s 37-27 loss to Florida. Perhaps one reason for the loss was Vaughn leaving the game in the second quarter with an apparent leg injury. He did not return. He should return Saturday, however. On the season, Vaughn is averaging 70.7 rushing yards per game.
Kyle Shurmur: The son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is in his third season as Vanderbilt’s starting quarterback. This year, the senior has completed 131 of 223 passes (58.7 percent) for 11 touchdowns with five interceptions. Last year against UK, Shurmur was intercepted four times. He finished 30-of-43 for 308 yards and one score.
Jordan Griffin: The senior linebacker leads the team in tackles with 68. “He can key and diagnose. I think now, as he’s older, he’s doing a really good job of what he’s learned over time. His football IQ is really high,” Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said this week.
Kentucky-Vanderbilt last 10 meetings
Kentucky-Vanderbilt national statistical rankings