Photo credit: UK Athletics
Vanderbilt came into Kroger Field and scored a stunning 24-21 victory over Kentucky on a cold and snowy Saturday afternoon.
Commodores’ backup quarterback Mike Wright tossed an eight-yard TD pass to Will Sheppard with just 34 seconds remaining to give Vandy the margin of victory.
It was the Commodores first SEC win since October 2019. They had lost 26 straight league games.
Running back Chris Rodriguez scored on a 72-yard run with five minutes left to put Kentucky ahead 21-17. He finished with 162 yards on 18 carries and scored both UK touchdowns.
Kentucky fell to 6-4 heading into next Saturday clash at home against Georgia.
After a Vanderbilt fumble, Kentucky took a 3-0 lead on Matt Ruffalo’s 47-yard field goal with 13:22 on the first quarter clock.
The Commodores took their first lead on Wright’s 59-yard run with just under 12 minutes in the quarter. Joseph Bulovas’ PAT kick made it 7-3.
Ruffalo added a 27-yard field goal with 3:33 remaining to pull the Wildcats to within one at 7-6.
Neither team scored in the second period leaving the Commodores with the slim one-point halftime lead.
Vanderbilt extended its lead to 14-6 on Ray Davis’ one-yard TD run with 7:47 to play in the third period.
Ruffalo’s third field goal of the game pulled the Wildcats to within 14-9 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
Rodriguez put Kentucky on top for the first time since early in the game on a five-yard run to give the Cats a 15-14 lead with 11:14 to play.
Bulovas’ 26-yard field goal put the Commodores back in front at 17-15 with 5:22 remaining.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
VN 3-7) …..7 0 7 10 – 24
UK (7-3) ….6 0 3 12 – 21
UK – Matt Ruffalo, 47-yard field goal, 13:22
VN – Mike Wright, 59-yard run (Joseph Bulovas kick), 11:54
UK – Matt Ruffalo, 27-yard field goal, 3:33
VN – Ray Davis, 1-yard run (Joseph Bulovas kick), 7:47
UK – Matt Ruffalo, 39-yard field goal, 3:30
UK – Chris Rodriguez, 5-yard run (pass failed), 11:14
VN – Joseph Bulovas, 26-yard field goal, 5:22
UK – Chris Rodriguez, 72-yard run (run failed), 5:03
VN – Will Sheppard, 8-yard pass from Mike Wright (Joseph Bulovas kick), 32
Next up: Kentucky (6-4) vs. Georgia (10-0), 3:30 p.m.