It was a very ugly performance from the Cats, and it cost them dearly, as Vanderbilt ended their 26-game SEC losing streak in Lexington with a 24-21 win.
Here are 4 things to know.
Run Defense Struggles
Vanderbilt found offensive success by pounding the ball on the ground as the first and only touchdown of the first half came on a 59-yard QB keeper.
The Commodores were able to rack up 129 rushing yards in the first half averaging 7.6 yards per rush. Thankfully, the defense was able to make big plays and get some fortunate penalties at the right time to keep them from adding to the 7-6 lead.
Improvements were not made in the second half as Vanderbilt continued to get chunk plays on the ground.
The Commodores finished the game with 264-yards rushing averaging 6.4 per carry. Just a disappointing performance by the unit that has been Kentucky’s strength this season.
Red-zone Efficiency Woes
The Cats have struggled once they get into the red zone this season and that was the case again in the one.
On back to back possessions, the Cats marched down the field with long sustained drives. Unfortunately, once they got into the red zone, each drive stalled.
The Cats made it to at least the Vanderbilt 10-yard line on both drives and came away with three points after the second field goal attempt was blocked.
Rich Scangarello’s Seat is Scorching
Kentucky’s offense has been far from good this season, and they struggled against one of the worst defenses in the SEC on Saturday.
Vanderbilt has the worst scoring defense in the SEC giving up an average of 36.8 points per game. Kentucky made it to the 30-yard line three times, are +2 in turnover margin, and were sitting on 6-points at the half.
Given how bad Vanderbilt’s defense is, this seemed like a great game to assess Scangarello, and he failed this test in the worst way.
Will Levis is Not a Top Pick Right Now
I know that he has the odds stacked against him with a poor offensive line, poor play calling, and his injury issues.
However, Levis has struggled in recent weeks and was off once again today. He missed several throws to guys that were open that could have completely changed this game.
He finished the game completing just 11 of his 23 passes for 109-yards and an interception. Averaging 5.1 yards per attempt is not going to result in much offensive success.
Now, let’s vent. This is a safe space.