Vanderbilt falls to Kentucky, 38-26
Theo Horrocks sacks(VM/Stan Jones)
Theo Horrocks sacks(VM/Stan Jones)

Posted Nov 11, 2006


Special teams and red zone turnovers doomed Vanderbilt on Saturday as the Commodores fell to a bowl eligible Kentucky Wildcats team, 38-26. The loss dropped Vanderbilt to 4-7 and handed the Commodores their 24th consecutive losing season.

The Commodore offense cranked out 27 first downs and 621 yards of total offense but it wasn't enough to beat a scrappy Kentucky team.

Chris Nickson, who had another incredible day of total offense with 517 yards, was intercepted twice in the end zone and fumbled once on the three-yard-line of Kentucky.

Kentucky quarterback Andre' Woodson also had a super day but without the turnovers. Woodson completed almost 70 percent of his passes (29-42) for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns.


Earl Bennett had 11 catches for 220 yards. (VM/Stan Jones)
Kentucky jumped out to a 17-7 lead before Vanderbilt rallied to take a 20-17 lead on a Nickson 6-yard run with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter. However, the fourth quarter would belong to Kentucky.

Twice Nickson was intercepted deep in Kentucky territory. Kentucky got scores from a 3-yard run by Rafael Little and Woodson touchdown passes to DeMoreo Ford and Keenan Burton to take a 38-20 lead with 3 minutes remaining.

Chris Nickson completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Earl Bennett as time expired to end the scoring. The extra point was not attempted.

Bennett had another sensational day receiving. The sophomore had 11 catches for 220 yards and a touchdown.

Vanderbilt was plagued by poor special teams play throughout the day, missing two field goals and an extra point. The Commodores also had a costly muffed a punt that led to a Wildcat touchdown. Several Vanderbilt punts spanned less than 30 yards. Vandy did manage to block a Kentucky punt in the first half but failed to capitalize on the great field position.

A stunned Bobby Johnson faced the media after the game and accepted the blame for the loss, “Turnovers are a big thing. We had the ball down there on the one-yard line and we dropped a pass then threw an interception. We just let them run all over us. It was winnable but we have to find ways to make it happen. That’s what I told the team afterwards. We have to find a way to make that catch, make that tackle, make the right call. There’s coaching in there too. It’s not just the players," said Bobby Johnson.

With the win the Wildcats gained a one game edge in the historic series, 38-37-4.

Vanderbilt (4-7, 1-6 SEC) hosts rival Tennessee on Saturday. Kentucky (6-4, 4-3 SEC) hosts Louisiana-Monroe.


Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Vanderbilt..........  0  7 13  6  - 26
Kentucky............  0 10  7 21  - 38

Scoring Summary:

2nd 08:30 UK - Lones Seiber 28 yd field goal 17 plays, 87 yards, TOP 6:03, VU 0 - UK 3

06:39 VU - Chris Nickson 1 yd run (B. Hahnfeldt kick) 6 plays, 85 yards, TOP 1:51, VU 7 - UK 3

04:09 UK - Keenan Burton 6 yd pass from Andre' Woodson (Lones Seiber kick) 6 plays, 80 yards, TOP 2:30, VU 7 - UK 10

3rd 11:28 UK - Steve Johnson 29 yd pass from Andre' Woodson (Lones Seiber kick) 1 play, 29 yards, TOP 0:11, VU 7 - UK 17

04:43 VU - Sean Walker 35 yd run (Mackenzi Adams pass failed) 1 play, 35 yards, TOP 0:19, VU 13 - UK 17

00:57 VU - Chris Nickson 6 yd run (B. Hahnfeldt kick) 6 plays, 64 yards, TOP 2:37, VU 20 - UK 17

4th 13:16 UK - Rafael Little 3 yd run (Lones Seiber kick) 9 plays, 85 yards, TOP 2:41, VU 20 - UK 24

07:59 UK - DeMoreo Ford 27 yd pass from Andre' Woodson (Lones Seiber kick) 4 plays, 50 yards, TOP 0:40, VU 20 - UK 31

03:31 UK - Keenan Burton 57 yd pass from Andre' Woodson (Lones Seiber kick) 5 plays, 80 yards, TOP 2:54, VU 20 - UK 38

00:00 VU - Earl Bennett 41 yd pass from Chris Nickson 3 plays, 77 yards, TOP 0:39, VU 26 - UK 38

                                    VU       UK

FIRST DOWNS...................       27       26
  Rushing.....................        7        8
  Passing.....................       18       17
  Penalty.....................        2        1
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      175      147
  Rushing Attempts............       30       37
  Average Per Rush............      5.8      4.0
  Yards Gained Rushing........      195      177
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       20       30
NET YARDS PASSING.............      446      450
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  23-37-2  29-43-0
  Average Per Attempt.........     12.1     10.5
  Average Per Completion......     19.4     15.5
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      621      597
  Total offense plays.........       67       80
  Average Gain Per Play.......      9.3      7.5
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      3-2      1-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......      1-5     6-58
PUNTS-YARDS...................    3-114    4-116
  Average Yards Per Punt......     38.0     29.0
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     24.7     24.8
  Inside 20...................        0        0
  50+ Yards...................        0        0
  Touchbacks..................        2        0
  Fair catch..................        0        0
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    4-246    7-393
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     61.5     56.1
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     44.0     45.3
  Touchbacks..................        1        1
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.   3-17-0    0-0-0
  Average Per Return..........      5.7      0.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD   5-56-0   3-50-0
  Average Per Return..........     11.2     16.7
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..    0-0-0   2-49-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    29:24    30:36
  1st Quarter.................     8:56     6:04
  2nd Quarter.................     4:50    10:10
  3rd Quarter.................     7:24     7:36
  4th Quarter.................     8:14     6:46
Third-Down Conversions........   2 of 9  7 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 2   1 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      2-6      3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     4-28     2-14
PAT Kicks.....................      2-2      5-5
Field Goals...................      0-2      1-3
Vanderbilt Darlron Spead blocks a Kentucky punt (VM/Stan Jones)
Vanderbilt's Darlron Spead blocks a Kentucky punt. Spead was injured on the play. (VM/Stan Jones)

Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson goes in the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown against Kentucky  (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson goes in the end zone for a second-quarter touchdown against Kentucky during a football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/James Crisp)



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