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Kentucky Football edges Vanderbilt: Highlights and postgame notes

The Cats get a much-needed win to keep this program moving in the right direction.

CMH Photography

A win is a win.

That’s what Kentucky is thankful for after surviving Vanderbilt and pulling out a 20-13 win. It came down to the final seconds as the Cats did just enough to score their third win in four games.

Here is a look at the highlights of the win, courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV:

And here are the postgame notes and milestones, courtesy of UK Athletics:

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky is 3-3 overall, 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt is 2-4 overall, 0-3 in the league.
  • With the win, Kentucky takes the lead in the all-time series, 43-42-4. The Wildcats lead in games played in Lexington, 24-15-2.
  • Kentucky is 2-2 or better in SEC play for the third consecutive season for the first time since 1976-79.
  • The Wildcats have won two of their last three meetings against Vanderbilt after dropping three straight contests from 2011-13.
  • Tonight’s win was Kentucky’s 150th all-time at Commonwealth Stadium.
  • Kentucky will return to action Sat. Oct. 22 when it plays host to Mississippi State inside Commonwealth Stadium. Game time and television selection will be announced Monday.

Kentucky Team Notes

  • UK’s game captains were senior center Jon Toth, junior wide receiver JeffBadet, junior linebacker Courtney Love and senior defensive linemanCourtney Miggins.
  • This was the fourth time this season that Kentucky has used those four players for captains. UK is 3-1 with Toth, Badet, Love and Miggins as captains.
  • Kentucky scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game, marking the first time this season the Wildcats have scored a touchdown on their first drive of a game.
  • It is the second straight game that Kentucky has scored on its first possession of the game after hitting a field goal on its game-opening drive last weekend at Alabama.
  • It was the first time that Kentucky has scored a touchdown on its game-opening drive since doing it against Louisville last season.
  • The Wildcat defense limited Vanderbilt to just three points in the first half, which is the lowest first-half point total that UK has allowed this season.
  • The previous season low was seven points to South Carolina.
  • Vanderbilt ended the game with 13 points, which was the second lowest points UK has allowed this season.
  • Kentucky limited South Carolina to just 10 points.
  • In its last two home games, Kentucky has outscored its opponents 37-23 with neither opponent scoring more than 13 points.
  • In those two games, Kentucky’s defense has only allowed one offensive touchdown.
  • In those two games, UK has limited opponents to 282 total yards of offense or fewer.
  • It is the first time that Kentucky has allowed 13 points or less in consecutive SEC home games since Nov. 5 and Nov. 26, 2011 against Ole Miss and Tennessee.
  • With Eli Brown’s recovery of Vanderbilt’s muffed punt in the first quarter the Wildcats have now forced a turnover in 11 of their past 12 games.
  • Entering the game, Vanderbilt was only allowing teams to rush for 160.6 yards per game with the Wildcats recording 258 yards.
  • Kentucky’s 258 yards were the second most rushing yards that Vanderbilt has allowed this season.
  • Kentucky’s 258 rushing yards were the most in an SEC win since Nov. 13, 2010 against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats had 341 that day.
  • This was the second time this season that UK has recorded 250 rushing yards or more in a game.
  • Kentucky had four sacks in the game, which tied a season best for total sacks. The Wildcats also had four sacks against South Carolina.
  • Kentucky’s 17 points scored in the first half was its most in an SEC home game since Nov. 8, 2014 against Georgia when it had 24.
  • Saturday’s game was the first time that Kentucky has allowed 22 points or less to an SEC opponent in four straight meetings since Vanderbilt from 1995-99.
  • Kentucky had four players with at least 50 rushing yards for the first time since Nov. 12, 2012 against Samford.
  • Kentucky has won consecutive SEC home games scoring 20 points or less for the first time since Oct. 22-Nov. 5, 1988 against Georgia and Vanderbilt.
  • Kentucky’s 52 rushing attempts was its most against an SEC opponent since Nov. 26, 2011 against Tennessee. The Wildcats rushed 56 times that game.
  • Kentucky has gained at least 200 rushing yards in three consecutive home games for the first time since 1987.
  • Denzil Ware and Josh Allen have the most sacks through the first six games of the season since Za’Darius Smith in 2013. He also had 4.5 sacks in the first six games of the season.
  • Kentucky had three scoring drives of at least 13 plays, which is the most 13+ play scoring drives against an SEC opponent since Nov. 8, 2014 against Georgia.

Kentucky Player Notes

  • Junior quarterback Stephen Johnson rushed 10 times for 55 yards and a touchdown.
  • In the second quarter, Johnson rushed for a three-yard score. That was the first rushing touchdown of his UK career.
  • Junior wide receiver Garrett Johnson had two receptions for 20 yards.
  • Johnson now has 1,224 career receiving yards, which ties him for 18th all-time on UK’s career list with Derek Smith (1999-2001).
  • Junior running back Stanley “Boom” Williams had nine carries in the game for 54 yards.
  • Williams still sits eighth all-time on UK’s career rushing list with 1,881 yards, needing 24 yards to tie Artose Pinner for seventh all-time.
  • Senior running back Jojo Kemp rushed for 55 yards on 12 attempts with one touchdown. He now has 1,490 career rushing yards, good for 19th on the school’s career rushing list. He needs 44 yards to equal Mike Fanuzzi (1971-74) for 18th all-time.
  • Junior kicker Austin MacGinnis had eight points in the game, including a season-long 46-yard field goal.
  • MacGinnis now has 198 career points to rank sixth all-time on UK’s career scoring list, moving past Craig Yeast.
  • MacGinnis needs 28 points to join wide receiver Randall Cobb and kicker Taylor Begley for fourth on the all-time list with 226 points.
  • True freshman running back Benny Snell rushed a career-high 20 times for 94 yards.
  • Snell’s 94 rushing yards were the second most for the rookie this season in a game.
  • Snell now has 341 rushing yards this season, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
  • On the last drive of the game, Snell had 44 yards on eight carries.
  • Sophomore cornerback Derrick Baity had seven tackles in the game.
  • Baity’s seven tackles were a career high, topping his previous best of five, which he most recently did against South Carolina.
  • Sophomore defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen ended the game with six tackles, including 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry.
  • Allen’s 1.5 sacks were a career high.
  • His 1.5 tackles for loss tied a career high.
  • Allen is now tied for the team lead in sacks with 4.5.
  • Sophomore defensive end/linebacker Denzil Ware finished the game with six tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
  • Ware’s 2.5 tackles for loss set a new career high.
  • Ware now is tied for the team lead with 4.5 total sacks this season and is the team leader with 7.0 tackles for loss.