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Kentucky edges Vanderbilt, 38-35

The Commodores came close, but the Wildcats ultimately prevailed.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats held off a late rally from the Vanderbilt Commodores to win their third game of the season. The Wildcats won 38-35 despite Vanderbilt scoring 21 points within the final 18 minutes of the game, as the lowly Commodores are still winless to this point in the season.

Kentucky held a lead as large as 31-14 in the early stages of the third quarter. Chris Rodriguez Jr. put them up by that margin, and he was able to scamper on a 74-yard rushing touchdown later on in the fourth quarter. Still, Vandy was able to make things rather interesting. A two-yard rushing touchdown by Mike Wright cut the deficit to 10, and then Mitchell Pryor ran it in from two yards out to make it 38-28. Cam Johnson would haul in a late touchdown pass by Ken Seals with 30 seconds to play. But Kentucky pulled in the onside kick and ran out the remaining time to seal up the W.

While moral victories are what they are, Vandy does have something to be satisfied with here. They didn’t quit by any means were able to fight back and put up points in bunches. It’s perhaps the best the offense has looked all season long and Seals himself seems to be putting it together. Seals threw two touchdowns, one to Johnson and one to Chris Pierce. He didn’t throw an interception, marking only the second time he’s gone without an INT this year. The only other time came against the South Carolina Gamecocks last month.

The Wildcats had quite the effort on the ground, as expected. UK rushed for 308 yards and ran for a clip of 8.8 yards per carry. Rodriguez and Terry Wilson rushed for over 11 YPC, going for 11.5 and 11.9 YPC respectively. Asim Rose ran for 49 yarsd on seven carries and Kavosiey Smoke garnered 20 yards on just three carries. Wilson and Beau Allen completed 16 passes to 10 different receivers, with DeMarcus Harris hauling in the most receptions with four.

Assuming there are no hiccups, Vanderbilt will host the Florida Gators next week, and the Kentucky Wildcats are slated to play the Alabama Crimson Tide.