UK Wraps Up SEC Slate in Road Finale at Vanderbilt

The Kentucky football team will seek to end Southeastern Conference play with its fifth win of the season in its road finale at Vanderbilt on Saturday, with kickoff slated for 4 p.m. ET at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Kentucky is coming off a setback at Georgia last week, with the Bulldogs scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half to post the 27-3 win.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Sat., Nov. 14 - 4 p.m. ET
Vanderbilt Stadium
Nashville, Tenn.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | VU Get Acrobat Reader
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TV: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
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UK 2015 Team Stats VU
4-5 Record 3-6
2-5 Conference Record 1-4
22.6 Scoring/game 14.8
364.4 Total offense/game 339.8
135.8 Rushing yards/game 154.9
228.7 Passing yards/game 184.9
21.2 Kickoff returns (avg) 19.8
7.4 Punt returns (avg) 7.2
40.1 Punting (avg) 40.1
28:45 Time of possession/game 32:43
38% Third down conversion 39%
69% Fourth down conversion 50%
28.9 Points allowed/game 17.4
411.9 Total yards allowed/game 316.1
195.3 Rush yards allowed/game 112.4
216.6 Pass yards allowed/game 203.7

The Wildcats are seeking their second consecutive win over Vanderbilt, after posting a 17-7 win over the Commodores in Lexington last season. The two teams have met every season since 1945, with UK leading the series by a narrow margin, 42-41-4.

UK has averaged 22.6 points per game in 2015, totaling 135.8 rushing yards and 228.7 passing yards per game. Sophomore TB Boom Williams has led the rushing attack with 563 yards and three TDs, with junior QB Patrick Towles throwing for 2,011 yards and 10 TDs. Sophomore WR Dorian Baker paces the club with 45 catches, with sophomore WR Garrett Johnson leading the team with 611 receiving yards, on 38 catches. Defensively, senior LB Josh Forrest has a team-high 76 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

Cat Scratches: QBs ‘Feeding Off Each Other’ with Playing Time up in the Air

The week began with an apparent big change for Kentucky.

The competition at quarterback between Patrick Towles and Drew Barker was open anew, making for a compelling week.

But in reality, the change isn’t all that significant, not in practice anyway.

“It’s just been a normal practice week so far,” Barker said on Tuesday. “We’re just going 50-50 like always, still preparing the same way that I have been this whole time. Nothing really drastically different at all.”

What is different is the way offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson is talking about who will play come Saturday at Vanderbilt...Read More

Series vs. Vanderbilt

Kentucky leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt, 42-41-4. The Commodores lead the series in Nashville, 26-19-2. Kentucky won the last meeting, 17-7 in 2014 in Lexington. The series began in 1896, with a 6-0 Vanderbilt win in Nashville. Since a two-year hiatus in the series from 1943-44, the teams have met each season since 1945. Biggest UK win: 49 (52-3) in 1978 in Lexington. Biggest Vanderbilt win: 50 (50-0) in 1897 in Nashville. Games decided by 7 points or less: Vanderbilt leads, 13-11-4. 

Last Meeting

In the last meeting between the two teams, Kentucky posted a 17-7 win, riding a strong defensive performance to the first SEC win in the Coach Mark Stoops era. In a game with all the scoring done in the first half, UK’s defense pitched a shutout, with the only Vanderbilt points coming on an interception return for a TD from Darrius Sims to tie the game early in the second quarter. UK then scored the final 10 points on the game, with QB Patrick Towles pushing it in from a yard out with eight seconds in the half to complete a 12-play drive. UK held Vanderbilt to eight first downs, 54 yards rushing and 85 yards passing. UK totaled 384 total yards, including 201 in the air. TB Braylon Heard led UK with 15 carries for 62 yards, with TB Jojo Kemp rushing for 60 yards on eight carries. Towles was 23-for-30 for 201 yards, one TD and one interception, also rushing it 15 times. WR Javess Blue had a team-high four catches for 35 yards, with Towles connecting with 11 different receivers. Defensively, UK was led by 1.5 sacks from Bud Dupree, with Ashely Lowery, Marcus McWilson and A.J. Stamps each intercepting a pass. Vanderbilt’s ground game was led by Ralph Webb, who had 44 yards on 13 carries. QB Wade Freebeck was 8-for-25 for 85 yards, connecting three times to C.J. Duncan. 

Scouting the Commodores

Vanderbilt (3-6, 1-4 SEC) enters the game on a two-game losing streak, with both loses coming on the road. Last week, VU suffered a narrow 9-7 loss at No. 11 Florida, suffering the setback on a 43-yard field goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Vandy has wins over Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee in non-conference play, owning a 10-3 win over Missouri on Oct. 24. The Dores are averaging 14.8 points per game, totaling 154.9 rushing and 184.9 passing yards per game. Defensively, VU has allowed 17.4 points per game, 112.4 rushing yards and 203.7 passing yards per game. Ralph Webb leads the team with 811 yards on 198 carries with five TDs. Darrius Sims has 216 yards on 33 carries. QB Johnny McCrary has thrown for 1,529 yards and six TDs in seven starts, with Kyle Shurmur making two starts. Trent Sherfield leads the team with 41 catches for 518 yards and two TDs. Steven Scheu and Webb each have 21 catches. Defensively, LB Zach Cunningham has 68 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Darreon Herring has 46 tackles, with Oren Burks, Ryan White and Jahmel McIntosh (two) owning interceptions. Tommy Openshaw is 12-of-19 in field goal attempts, with a long of 49. Openshaw has also punted 54 times for 40.7 yards, with a long of 78 and 19 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. 

Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff

Tune in to the UK Sports Network for the “Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff” two hours before every football game. From Cat Walk to Cat Talk, host Christi Thomas and former UK Quarterback Freddie Maggard will focus on the X’s and O’s of the game and bring a little fun to pregame in the first 30 minutes of the show. Afterward, Host Neil Price is joined by Oscar Combs, Dick Gabriel, Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro to continue the official pregame broadcast until kickoff. The show is broadcast in Lexington on 98.1 WBUL & 630 WLAP, UK Radio Network affiliates, online at, and in the UK Gameday App. For the first time, the two-hour pregame show will be live streamed every home game for fans to watch on