Through three quarters, the Kentucky Wildcats were an offensive disaster against the Vanderbilt Commodores. However, behind a surreal defense and running back Benny Snell Jr., the Wildcats took a 14-7 lead in the fourth quarter, and they would hold on to claim their sixth victory of the season.
QB Play Remains Questionable
The first half was a continued disaster on offense as Kentucky coughed up two fumbles at the hands of poor quarterback play by Terry Wilson. Wilson also threw just four passes, completing two for only seven yards.
While one did go for a touchdown, which was caught by Lynn Bowden, Wilson’s struggles playing from inside the pocket continued. The weather didn’t help, but the turnovers and inability to make reads pre-snap are inexcusable. Add in Wilson finished the game by completing just three passes for nine yards, and it’s hard to make an argument for Gunnar Hoak to not see action next weekend at Missouri.
Kentucky’s Defense Remains Sound
Despite constantly being on the field for 31+ minutes, Kentucky’s defense held the Commodores to just 284 yards & seven points. Josh Allen inched closer to Kentucky’s All-Time sack record and Kash Daniel racked up eleven tackles.
What a stop by this defense. They’ve answered the bell at every turn. The offense HAS to return the favor. #BBN— John Morgan Francis (@MonJorgan) October 21, 2018
Due to an inefficient offense, Kentucky will need every ounce of productivity from their veteran defense. The unit has been spectacular through seven games, not allowing the opposition to reach 21 points yet this season.
As they travel to face Drew Lock & the Missouri Tigers next Saturday, the Wildcats will need Josh Allen & company more than ever.
Had Kentucky performed this way against any one else on the schedule, they probably would have lost, and part of the reason would have once again been the kicker. Miles Butler missed yet another short field goal, this one being a 39-yarder in the third quarter that would have put Kentucky ahead.
Thankfully, Vanderbilt’s kicking issues are just as bad, if not worse. Ryley Guay missed a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter that would have put Vanderbilt ahead. That appeared to play into Vanderbilt’s decision-making in the fourth quarter when they faced a 4th-and-1 from the Kentucky 16-yard line.
A make there would have put the Dores up 10-7 and in control with Kentucky’s offense sputtering, but instead Vandy went for it and got stuffed.
That proved to be a turning point, as Kentucky then marched down the field and got a seven-yard touchdown run from Benny Snell.
The kicking issues cannot continue for Kentucky to win games down the stretch. Luckily, another team’s kicking issues helped the Wildcats escape with a win.
Appreciate Benny Snell
Kentucky hasn’t quite ever seen a running back like Benny Snell. His ability to not only handle a heavy workload but also wear down the opposing defense has worked wonders for the Wildcats over the last three seasons.
On Saturday night, howling winds and inefficient play from the quarterback position were just one obstacle Snell faced. It appeared Snell was banged up at the end of the first half, resulting in AJ Rose’s workload increasing during the third quarter.
However, Snell returned to dominate in the fourth quarter and not only achieve his 16th career 100-yard game but single-handedly carry the Wildcats’ offense down the field for a touchdown to take the lead. In fact, Snell carried the ball nine times for 75 yards en route to his score.
Playing “Benny and the Jets” on loud speaker here at Kroger Field.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) October 21, 2018
Sounds about right.
Snell finished the game with 169 yards and one score on 32 carries in what was yet another performance for the record books.
Show your appreciation for Snell and other post game thoughts in the banter below!