While the Vanderbilt Commodores continued their climb to respectability (and edged within one win of becoming bowl eligible), a 40-0 home loss by the University of Kentucky football program left absolutely no doubt that they have fallen back to the bottom of the SEC.
While athletic director Mitch Barnhart may consider head coach Joker Phillips one of his "dearest friends" and "thinks the world of him" (per Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader), the Big Blue Nation is demanding (and deserves) a change.
- Unlike last week, the offense managed to not turn the ball over (during the short amount of time that they were on the field), while the defense forced two turnovers.
- The rain eventually stopped.
- Kentucky was demolished in total yardage 447-260. The Wildcats also barely cracked 100 yards rushing on the day, with only 33 of those yards coming in the second half.
- Third-down efficiency was once again a tale of two very different teams: The Commodores were 11-17, while the Wildcats were a mere 5-17.
- Quarterback Jalen Whitlow looked pretty rough (5-12 for 66 yards, 7 carries for 23 yards), but Patrick Towles looked even worse. The true freshman quarterback, who went 8-23 for 93 yards, consistently overthrew receivers and often looked flustered in the pocket.
- The Wildcats made some very costly (and boneheaded) penalties, which resulted in a net gain of 100 yards for the Commodores.
- Kicker Craig McIntosh missed a field goal (not new), which was by far not the worst special teams play of the day. Between fair catches inside the 10-yard line and penalties for running into kick returners, the special teams (or "forces" as Joker Phillips likes to call them) play was atrocious.
Which loss was worse?
- Courtesy of Kentucky Sports Radio, here is a panoramic shot of Commonwealth Stadium right before kickoff. It is not, as some have asserted, a post-apocalyptic landscape from one of the Mad Max movies.
- If you looked at the picture above, then this figure may surprise you: The announced crowd at today's game was 40,992 (per Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader). I'm going to assume that number includes players/coaches, stadium staff and anyone within a five-mile radius of the stadium.
- Vanderbilt's 40-0 win was their first shutout win in SEC play since 1968 (via InsideVandy.com). The was also the Kentucky Wildcats worst loss to Vanderbilt since 1916 (per Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader).
After a bye week next Saturday, the University of Kentucky will take on the Samford Bulldogs on Saturday, November 17 in Commonwealth Stadium. Time TBA (and tickets will definitely be available).
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