LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Randall Cobb ran for a career-high 170
yards and two touchdowns as Kentucky surged past Vanderbilt 38-20
Cobb had touchdown runs of 5 and 73 yards to help the Wildcats
(6-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) become bowl eligible for the
fifth straight season. He finished with 279 total yards, breaking
the school record for all-purpose yards in a single season in the
Derrick Locke ran for 145 yards and two scores in his first game
in a month and quarterback Mike Hartline threw for 232 yards and a
touchdown in his final home game.
Kennard Reeves rushed for a career-high 105 yards for the
Commodores (2-8, 1-6), but Vanderbilt couldn't make a 13-10
halftime lead stand up.
Cobb made sure of that. The junior said earlier in the week
he'll gauge his NFL prospects before deciding whether to return to
school next fall.
He made a pretty compelling case for the pro scouts in
attendance, showcasing why he's become one of the nation's most
versatile and valuable players.
The Wildcats certainly needed it after slogging through another
uninspired first half.
The defense struggled to keep the SEC's worst offense in check
and the offense looked sporadic even with Locke's return to the
lineup after missing four games with a shoulder injury.
Vanderbilt had no such problems. The Commodores rolled 242 yards
in the first 30 minutes, heady territory for a team that averages
just 267 yards a game.
Reeves, thrust into a starting role due to a myriad of injuries,
found gaping holes to run through and wide receiver Jonathan Krause
made a couple of big plays to keep the Wildcats on their heels.
Yet Kentucky, as it has done most of the season, gathered itself
at halftime and turned to Cobb to get things moving in the right
He lined up at quarterback in the WildCobb formation on
Kentucky's first possession of the half, took the snap, ran to his
left then cut back to his right to race 73 yards for a touchdown to
give the Wildcats the lead.
Cobb was at it again two possessions later, taking the snap and
retreating 10 yards before somehow weaving his way through the
Vanderbilt defense for a 52-yard gain.
Locke's 1-yard touchdown dive four plays later put Kentucky up
24-13, and the Wildcats poured it on.
Hartline hit a wide-open Chris Matthews for a 55-yard score and
Locke finished the Commodores off with an 83-yard touchdown run.
The victory takes some of the pressure off the Wildcats heading
into their season finale at Tennessee in two weeks. Kentucky hasn't
beaten the Volunteers in more than a quarter century, and coach
Joker Phillips acknowledged it was important for his team to become
bowl eligible before heading to Knoxville.
Kentucky outgained Vanderbilt 370-158 in the second half to beat
the Commodores for the sixth time in the last seven meetings.
The rivalry has been one-sided in recent years, but that doesn't
mean it hasn't been heated. This time was no different. The team
combined for 16 penalties and a handful of skirmishes. Kentucky
cornerback Martavius Neloms and Vanderbilt's Udom Umoh were ejected
in the fourth quarter after trading punches.