It was a defensive struggle, but Vanderbilt’s offense produced just enough for the Commodores to defeat Kentucky, 22-6, Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium. With the win, Vanderbilt secured bowl eligibility for third year in a row – a first in school history.
Vanderbilt improved to 6-4 on the season and 3-4 in the SEC. Kentucky fell to 2-8 overall and 0-6 in league play.
Kentucky scored first to take a 6-0 lead, but Adam Butler blocked the extra-point attempt and Steven Clarke scooped the football up and returned it for two points. It was a three-point swing, which helped the Commodores put the game away late.
Vanderbilt would add two field goals by Carey Spear and a late touchdown pass from backup quarterback Patton Robinette to Kris Kentera, and the defense clamped down on the Wildcats’ offense.
Vanderbilt intercepted Kentucky’s Jalen Whitlow four times, and held the quarterback to just 120 yards passing.
On offense, Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews had a career-high 12 catches for 141 yards. He now has more than 1,000 yards receiving for the second year a row. He is the first player in school history with two seasons of 1,000 yards receiving.
Austyn Carta-Samuels started the game at quarterback after missing the previous two games due to an injury suffered against Georgia on October 19. Carta-Samuels finished 19-of-24 for 184 yards.