Benny Snell rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown and No. 14 Kentucky kept pace with the SEC East leaders on Saturday night with a 14-7 victory over Vanderbilt at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky.
The victory makes the Wildcats (6-1, 4-1) bowl eligible after just seven games.
After Snell had just 13 carries in Kentucky’s only loss two weeks ago at Texas A&M, the Heisman Trophy candidate was the centerpiece. He rushed 32 times against the Commodores (3-5, 0-4) and the Wildcats gashed the nation’s 95th-ranked run defense for 280 yards on the ground.
Snell also provided the game-winning touchdown with a 7-yard run with 8:04 left in the game. It capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive that burned up 5:39. He carried the ball on 10 of the 12 plays.
Kentucky’s first score was a 5-yard pass from Terry Wilson to Lynn Bowden to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
Vanderbilt had taken a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard pass from Kyle Shurmur to C.J. Bolar with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
Overall, Kentucky had 298 yards total offense with only 18 coming via the passing game on a blustery night that saw temperatures dive into the 40s with 40-mph wind gusts. Wilson was just 3-of-9 passing.
Kentucky, which ranks No. 4 nationally in scoring defense at 13.8 points per game, held Vanderbilt to 284 yards total offense — including just 68 yards rushing — and totaled four sacks.
Vanderbilt has lost three in a row, all against Top 25 competition. The Commodores are now 1-84 all time when facing top 15 opponents on the road.
Shurmur paced Vanderbilt with 216 yards on 15-of-23 passing. Kalija Lipscomb had five catches for 28 yards.
Kentucky travels to Missouri on Saturday. A victory puts UK into a potential Nov. 3 showdown with Georgia for the SEC East championship, assuming the Wildcats win their conference finale Nov. 10 at Tennessee.
Vanderbilt travels to Arkansas on Saturday.
—Field Level Media