Derrick Locke is tackled by Patrick Benoist
NASHVILLE-- In a stadium full of blue, Kentucky ran past the Vanderbilt Commodores on Senior Day, 24-13. Derrick Locke rushed for 132 yards and Randall Cobb added 99 more as Kentucky rallied from a halftime deficit to become bowl eligible.
In first quarter Kentucky got on the board first on a Randall Cobb 21-yard run.
Vanderbilt's Ryan Fowler then made two consecutive field goals, a 42-yarder near the end of the first quarter and a 47-yard kick at the beginning of the second quarter to make the score 7-6 Kentucky.
A Kentucky field goal put the Wildcats up 10-6 with 6 minutes remaining in the half. However, a Myron Lewis interception gave Vanderbilt excellent field position. The Commodores capitalized on the turnover when Mackenzi Adams connected on a 21-yard pass to John Cole to put Vanderbilt in front, 13-10. Cole caught that pass on his back and went on to finish with five receptions for 61 yards.
In the first half the Commodore defense held the Kentucky quarterbacks to just 4 of 12 completions for 54 yards and two interceptions.
In the second half the Wildcats wouldn't need to pass much as their offense got going with an effective running attack. Randall Cobb ran for a 3-yard score on UK's first drive of the second half to put the Wildcats up, 17-13. Later, Derrick Locke added to the Kentucky lead with a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats finished the game with an impressive 308 yards rushing, their most in a game this season.
Vanderbilt could not answer the Wildcat rushing juggernaut as the Kentucky defense shut down the Vandy offense and limited the Commodores to 31 yards second half yards and 81 total for the game on the ground.
The Commodores managed only one-second half first down. Mackenzi Adams finished the game with 11 completions on 24 attempts for 127 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Adams had only one completion for five yards in the second half. Despite a rough game, Adams is now among the Vanderbilt top 10 career passing yardage leaders. Adams has accumulated 2,615 career passing yards unseating Fred Fisher (1972-75) at tenth place.
After the game Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson talked about the Commodore offensive meltdown in the second half, "They controlled the ball and put tremendous pressure on our quarterback. We didn't feel good that we'd have tremendous success passing. We tried to run to get it to a manageable distance on third down. If we had third and long, we were worried about protection."
The game marked the final home game for 24 Commodore seniors including Mackenzi Adams, Bo Baggarley, Patrick Benoist, Greg Billinger, Joel Caldwell, Ryan Custer, Chris DeGeorge, Justin Green, Ryan Hamilton, Jared Hawkins, Eric Hensley, Chris Johnson, John Laughrey, Myron Lewis, Gaston Miller, Chris Reinert, Broderick Stewart, Steven Stone, Brent Trice, Brett Upson, Bradley Vierling, Alex Washington, Thomas Welch and Justin Wheeler.
Vanderbilt, 2-9 (0-7 SEC), has now lost seven in a row, their longest losing streak since 2003. The Commodores will conclude their season with a visit Tennessee on Saturday. Kentucky, 6-4 (2-4 SEC), will travel to Georgia.