Vanderbilt dominates Kentucky in 40-0 shutout
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Vanderbilt dominated Kentucky on offense, defense and special teams Saturday to jump to a 27-point halftime lead and coast to a 40-0 win.
Quarterback Jordan Rodgers completed 18 of 29 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and three different Commodores running backs scored rushing touchdowns against the overmatched Kentucky defense.
Vanderbilt's 40-point victory margin was its largest against the Wildcats in 96 years. In the teams' 85 meetings -- 40 won by Vanderbilt -- the only Commodores victories that were more lopsided were 45-0 in 1916 and 50-0 in 1897.
The Commodores (5-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half drives, none of which took longer than 4 minutes, 19 seconds.
Rodgers drove Vanderbilt 71 yards on 11 plays to begin the game, ending with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews. Rodgers also threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Chris Boyd in the second quarter.
Vanderbilt relied on its offense and Kentucky's special-teams miscues to start drives in good field position and move the ball quickly thereafter. The Wildcats were penalized twice for interfering with the catch on punts on consecutive second-quarter drives, both of which Vanderbilt turned into touchdowns.
Kentucky (1-9, 0-7) missed an early scoring opportunity on a 16-play, 49-yard drive that consumed 7:10. After converting a fourth-down play at the Vanderbilt 28-yard line, the Wildcats were pushed back, and Craig McIntosh missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-15.
The Wildcats made it into the red zone only once in the game. In the third quarter, sophomore safety Ashely Lowery intercepted a Rodgers pass in Vanderbilt territory and returned it to the Commodores 25-yard line, and a personal foul on the return pushed Kentucky up to the 12-yard line.
But Kentucky turned the ball over on downs in four plays.