Kentucky will finish the season over .500 for the second straight season, as a 44-21 win over Vanderbilt gives them seven wins on the year. They’re 7-3 for the first time since 2007.
It was the Benny Snell show early on, as Snell topped 100 yards in the first half and reached a number of historical benchmarks in yardage and touchdowns, both for the season and for his career.
The defense played extremely well also, forcing turnovers for the first time in a month.
Kentucky’s win also gives them at least a .500 record in the SEC this season with just one conference game left against Georgia.
Benny sets records
Benny Snell is on a new level. The Kentucky running back has been on a tear since struggling against Mississippi State, and today he laid claim to several noteworthy program achievements. He became the fastest player to 2,000 rushing yards in school history, he became the first player to run for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons in school history, and he broke the school record for career rushing touchdowns, recording his 26, 27th and 28th touchdowns. Snell broke the century mark in the first half, recording 106 yards. He was pretty stagnant in the second half, but still finished the day with 116 and three touchdowns.
Benny Snell sets the UK career rushing touchdown record with his 27th. He's a sophomore. pic.twitter.com/seSoYr90C0— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 11, 2017
Miles Butler punts (and saves McKinniss’ redshirt)
Matt Panton’s public intoxication incident last week led to his suspension for this game, but it was nearly Grant McKinniss who paid the price. McKinniss was set to have to burn his redshirt 10 games into the season. Kentucky coaches apparently instead changed their minds, and went with Butler instead, allowing a preservation of McKinniss’ redshirt. Butler even managed to hold his own, booting a 45-yard punt inside the 10 yard line with no return.
The defense was disruptive
Believe it or not, Kentucky had not recorded a turnover since Oct. 7 against Missouri. They broke the dry spell today and did it in grand fashion, picking Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur off a whopping four times. Shurmur had thrown just three interceptions the entire year before today. And it was the unit’s leaders who caused trouble, as Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity and Denzil Ware all had interceptions, as did Jordan Griffin.
Lynn Bowden continues to rack up the yards
It almost seems as though it’s impossible for Bowden to not get at least 10 yards every time he touches the ball. He led the team in receiving yards with 79, and racked up an incredible 113 kick return yards, thanks in part to a 93-yard return in the second half. He just ran out of gas before he could get to the end zone.
Lynn Bowden is ELECTRIC!!! pic.twitter.com/yg2YNNTTqh— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 11, 2017
Mark Stoops gets an extension
The contract that Stoops signed in March featured an automatic one-year extension after every season in which Kentucky won at least seven games. With that benchmark having been reached, he’s now signed through 2022. His salary in that final season will be $5 million.
Now, let’s celebrate!