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Vanderbilt slams Kentucky 40-0
"We're making it real tough on (UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart)," said Phillips, whose team dropped to 1-9 overall and 0-7 in SEC play.
"I get this business. I get the criticism," Phillips added. "Nobody in this program wants this place to have more success than me, but I understand. This is a business based on results."
The results were dismal on this day. The shutout was the first for Vanderbilt (5-4, 3-3 SEC) in league play since blanking Kentucky 6-0 in 1968. The Commodores' largest victory over the Wildcats prior to Saturday was a 45-0 win in 1916.
Kentucky, which has traditionally struggled to stay just ahead of Vanderbilt in the SEC East standings, has now lost to the Commodores by a combined score of 78-8 the last two seasons.
"It's always depressing after a loss," UK safety Ashely Lowery said. "Nobody likes to lose, and on top of that being shut out at home. It's real hard, but we have to keep fighting.
"(Phillips) told us that he did not give up and to keep fighting. We need to fight for him. We need to try to send the seniors out right."
The tone was much different in the other locker room.
"Great win for us," Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said. "From what I understand, got some pretty good information here, first time Vanderbilt has two road wins since 1951... We've won four of the last five, so a lot of positives there."
Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers, completed 18 of 29 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. The Commodores also got rushing touchdowns from three different tailbacks -- Zac Stacy, Brian Kimbrow and Wesley Tate -- as part of a 227-yard team rushing effort.
The Commodores finished with a 447-260 advantage in total yardage.
Kentucky opened the game with promising a 16-play, 49-yard drive that consumed more than seven minutes, but the scoring opportunity ended when quarterback Jalen Whitlow took a sack on third-and-long from the 28, leading to a missed 50-yard field goal by Craig McIntosh.
That proved to be the Wildcats' only scoring opportunity in the first half as Vanderbilt took a commanding 28-0 lead into the locker room. The Commodores got a 34-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jordan Matthews, a 3-yard TD run by Tate, a 30-yard TD pass from Rodgers to Chris Boyd, and a 2-yard TD run by Stacy.
Kentucky's struggles continued in the second half, highlighted by a pair of short-field situations set up by Vanderbilt turnovers. The Cats recovered a fumble at the Commodores' 26 and failed to score after La'Rod King dropped a fourth-down pass from backup quarterback Patrick Towles. On the next series, UK's Ashely Lowery returned an interception to the Vandy 5, but the Cats again turned the ball over on downs after King dropped a fourth-down pass.
Vanderbilt got a 33-yard run by Kimbrow and field goals from 40 and 48 yards by Carey Spear in the second half to put the finishing touches on the blowout.
* Kentucky clings to a 41-40-4 all-time series advantage over Vanderbilt.
* UK linebacker Avery Williamson, who is leading the SEC in tackles, set a new career high with 20. He is the first Wildcat with 20 or more tackles in a game since Chad Anderson had 21 against Georgia in 2003.
* Demarco Robinson's 35-yard reception in the second quarter marked a career long for the sophomore receiver.
* Freshman wideout A.J. Legree had a career-high three receptions for 47 yards.
* Freshman quarterback Patrick Towles had 23 pass attempts and 93 yards, both career highs.
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