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Kentucky’s Offense Bounces Back in Emotional 38-35 Victory over Vanderbilt

Arden Barnes | USA Today

Arden Barnes | USA Today

Kentucky’s offense and defense were not on the same page, yet the offense still brought enough firepower to overpower Vanderbilt 38-35 in an emotional victory at Kroger Field.

Played two days after the team learned offensive line coach John Schlarman passed away, the Big Blue Wall honored their leader by opening up enormous holes, paving the way for the Wildcats to gain 308 yards on the ground, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. Kentucky’s offensive line was just as exceptional in pass coverage. Vanderbilt did not get one sack or hurry against quarterback Terry Wilson.

The cries for Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen were heard by Wilson. He responded with one of the best games of his career. He completed his first nine passes before ultimately finishing the day 13-for 15 for 110 yards and touchdown passes to Keaton Upshaw and Justin Rigg. In addition to Rigg’s touchdown, he also had a HUGE fourth quarter fumble recovery deep in UK territory.

Wilson used his wheels too. He turned the quarterback option-pitch play into a 32-yard score. After penalties put UK out of field goal range late in the first half, he made a miraculous escape on third and 26 to secure a first down. The Wildcats would kick a field goal four plays later. He finished the day with 83 yards on the ground.

Wearing Chris Oats’ No. 22, running back Chris Rodriguez led Kentucky in rushing, thanks to a 74-yard fourth quarter touchdown that put the game out of reach. Rodriguez surpassed 1,000 career rushing yards, totaling 149 on the day and two touchdowns.

Defensively, the Wildcats have seen better days. Similar to the Missouri game, Brad White’s crew could not get off the field on third down. When they did seemingly force stops in the red zone, the Commodores scored twice on fourth down. When push came to shove, Josh Paschal, Boogie Watson and J.J. Weaver secured a sack on third and 11 that ended Vanderbilt’s final threatening drive.

The Wildcats led by 17 when Mark Stoops brought in the reinforcements. It was fun to watch Beau Allen sling it, but it was costly on defense as the Commodores scored two garbage-time touchdowns to give us the final score.

Entering Saturday’s game Kentucky fans wanted to see how the offense would respond after almost a month of poor performances. The defense did not provide too much help, but the offense certainly went above and beyond to honor John Schlarman.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

21 Comments for Kentucky’s Offense Bounces Back in Emotional 38-35 Victory over Vanderbilt

  1. cats646
    3:34 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    Glad to have a win. Glad the offense showed up. But wtf happened to our defense???

  2. Cousins Fake Tooth 2
    3:35 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    35? I quit watching with 6 minutes left. So what happened? UK fall apart and let them get 2 TD in 6 minutes?!?

    • TBW3011
      3:40 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      Pulled a Cal and just played soft and cautious late. They marched twice and even had an onside attempt with 30 seconds down 3

  3. UKinIN
    3:36 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    Gatewood got four snaps: handoff, wildcat, wildcat, and take a knee. I guess the coaches really don’t trust him?

    • WKY Cat
      3:49 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      Gatewood will transfer. He knows Wilson is the starter and Beau is the future.

  4. makeitstop
    3:43 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    Gotta have some coaching changes. They have no-showed 3 games including this and so many mental mistakes.

  5. TBW3011
    3:49 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    A win that doesn’t feel like a win is better than an actual loss I suppose. 3-7 is going to be difficult to explain though when you were better than or equal to the opponent in 7 of them

  6. dhard
    3:51 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    I realize a win is a win, but that was embarrassing.

    • makeitstop
      4:03 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t sell us short – we can still be 4-6

    • TBW3011
      4:15 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      And? 4-6 is not got with this team. And spare me the 10 SEC game crap. We will have played 6 teams we were superior to and one that is no better. 5 wins would suck with the schedule.

    • IndianaSucks
      10:48 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      I hope makeitstop was going for a “got em” moment

  7. Bigblu30
    4:12 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    Would have liked to seen gatewood more, weird stoops starts him against georgia but wont let him throw a pass against the worst team in the SEC

    • TBW3011
      4:17 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      Not weird. Just finding ways to justify starting someone that almost quit 2 weeks ago over the future QB’s of the program

  8. Stop Hammer Time
    4:16 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    We will get prison [email protected] against Bama. Their QB may throw for 600 yards.

  9. BigBlueFoo42777
    6:02 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    So we are giving wilson credit for looking good this game ? Billy Gillispie would have looked better against that defense than our I’m gonna get mad and threaten to quit if I get benched qb.

  10. Miller45
    6:29 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    I hate all the negatively coming from every direction

    • IndianaSucks
      10:50 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      What is there honestly to be positive about? Squeaking by the consistently worse team in the conference at home? Yeah you’re right… Great win.

    • Miller45
      11:34 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      Putting words in my mouth

  11. Lip Man 1
    6:38 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    You enjoy the win against a garbage SEC team and move along. Unfortunately this could be the last win of the year…certainly for the next few weeks anyway.

  12. CatfaninCinci
    8:03 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

    Wilson goes for an offensive explosion of 110 yards thru the air…

    Suck an egg Roush.

    • IndianaSucks
      10:51 pm November 14, 2020 Permalink

      KSR writing at it’s finest. Build it up no matter what.