Wildcats Begin Two-Game Road Swing With Vanderbilt
Nov. 11, 2011
After defeating Ole Miss 30-13 at Commonwealth Stadium for its first Southeastern Conference win of the season, the University of Kentucky football team begins a two-game road trip in SEC play, beginning with the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
Kentucky enters the game having won two of its last three games, including the impressive victory over the Rebels last week. UK was led in the win by true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith, who made the most of his first-career start, completing 19 passes for a career-high 283 yards and two passing touchdowns. The 283 passing yards is the most by a UK true freshman in school history.
Several players stepped up offensively in the game for the Wildcats with junior tailback Coshik Williams rushing a career-high 25 times for 111 yards and two rushing touchdowns. UK also had two players with over 100 receiving yards with senior Matt Roark making seven catches for 116 yards and junior La'Rod King earning three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Gene McCaskill also had his first career touchdown in the game.
The UK defense performed well against Ole Miss, recording a season-high 10 tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan led UK by tying a career high 17 tackles and grabbing his fourth career interception, while safety/linebacker Winston Guy had 10 tackles.
Saturday's contest between UK and VU marks the 83rd time the two teams have faced each other with Kentucky holding a 41-38-4 all-time record against Vanderbilt. UK has won eight of the last 10 games, dating back to the 2001 season.
Cat Scratches: Different kind of test awaits improving Cats in Nashville
There have been years in recent memory when Southeastern Conference teams have seen Vanderbilt on the schedule and all but penciled in a win. The Commodores have had their moments, but the rigors of the toughest conference in America have kept Vandy at the bottom of the SEC more often than not.
As Kentucky (4-5, 1-4 SEC) enters its annual matchup with Vanderbilt (4-5, 1-5 SEC), the Wildcats see nothing that would even remotely suggest they can play anything less than their best to pull off a victory... read the full preview
The Vanderbilt Commodores enter Saturday's game with Kentucky with a 4-5 record, including a 1-5 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt's last three losses have come against SEC foes Georgia, Arkansas and Florida by a combined total of only 13 points. VU's SEC win was a 30-7 victory over Ole Miss in Nashville.
Offensively, Vanderbilt has been led this season by junior college transfer Jordan Rodgers, who is first on the team in passing and second on the team in rushing. Rodgers has completed 68-of-113 passes (51.1 percent) for 959 yards and five touchdowns along with five interceptions. Rodgers has rushed 68 times for 277 yards and four touchdowns.
Junior running back Zac Stacy leads the team in rushing with 110 carries for 756 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. Stacy also has six rushing touchdowns on the season. True freshman running back Jerron Seymour is third on the team in rushing with 61 carries for 217 yards and four touchdowns.
Rodgers' favorite target this season has been sophomore wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who is first on the team in receiving with 23 catches for 438 yards, an average of 19 yards per catch, and three touchdowns. Fellow sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Krause has 21 catches for 149 yards, while sophomore running back Wesley Tate is third on the team in receiving with 18 catches for 152 yards. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Boyd is fourth on the team in receiving, but has the most receiving touchdowns on the team with five.
Defensively, Vanderbilt is led by senior linebacker Chris Marve, who has 65 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry. Junior defensive tackle Rob Lohr leads the team with 11.5 tackles for loss, while senior defensive end Tim Fugger has 11 tackles for loss. Both Lohr and Fugger are tied for the team lead in sacks with five. Senior defensive back Casey Hayward leads the Commodore secondary with a team high five interceptions and nine pass breakups.
Last Time vs. Vanderbilt
Randall Cobb rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns and Derrick Locke ran for 145 yards and two TDs in guiding Kentucky to the sixth win of the season, topping Vanderbilt 38-20 on Senior Day at Commonwealth Stadium. The win made UK bowl eligible as the Wildcats eventually advanced to their fifth consecutive bowl game.
Vanderbilt opened the scoring with a field goal on its first possession of the game and the teams traded scores after that, with the Commodores leading at halftime 13-10 on the strength of a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Larry Smith.
Inspired by a fiery halftime speech from senior defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, Kentucky responded with 28 unanswered points to take control of the game.
Cobb started the second half scoring for UK with an electrifying 73-yard scamper to give the Cats a 17-13 lead. Cobb's impressive day was highlighted by breaking the UK single-season record for all-purpose yardage.
On the next possession, Cobb appeared to be thrown for a big loss, only to break loose on a mercurial 52-yard run. Locke finished the six-play 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Leading 24-13, senior quarterback Mike Hartline threw a perfect pass to senior wide receiver Chris Matthews for a 55-yard touchdown to get the crowd on its feet and give the Cats some breathing room. Hartline finished 15-of-23 for 232 yards and one touchdown. Matthews had five receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown.
A senior from Hugo, Okla., Locke's final carry at Commonwealth Stadium was a career-long 83-yard dash to put the Wildcats ahead 38-13.
The Kentucky defense played an outstanding second half. Safety Winston Guy led the way with a career-high 18 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Linebacker Danny Trevathan had 10 stops, his seventh consecutive game in double figures.