Vanderbilt 17, Kentucky 7
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Corey Harris rushed for 157 yards, becoming only the second Vanderbilt runner to gain 1,000 yards in a season, and Marcus Wilson rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns as the Commodores defeated Kentucky 17-7.
Harris pushed his season rushing total to 1,015 yards, 50 behind Frank Mordica’s season record set in 1978.
Vanderbilt (5-5 overall, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) won its fourth game in a row for the first time since the opening of the 1984 season and achieved five victories in a season for the first time since going 5-6 in 1984.
The Commodores, who have two weeks off before closing the season at Tennessee, last had a winning record in 1982, going 8-3 and then losing to Air Force in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
A late touchdown by Kentucky (3-6, 0-5) ruined the Commodores’ bid for their first shutout since a 7-0 win over Tennesseee-Chattanooga in 1985. Ryan Hockman passed 29 yards to Kurt Johnson for the score with 37 seconds to play.
Leading 3-0 at the half, the Commodores took charge after a 66-yard punt by Kentucky’s Bill Hawk rolled dead at the Vandy 6. Wilson directed an 18-play drive that consumed 11:10 before he bolted off tackle on a 5-yard scoring run.
The Commodores kept the drive alive when Harris gained a yard on fourth- and-one at the Wildcat 13.
Moments later, Kentucky took itself out of the game when quarterback Pookie Jones fumbled when hit by Vandy tackle Allen Young and linebacker Shelton Quarles recovered at the Wildcat 15.
Six plays later, Wilson went off his own left tackle for 2 yards to make it 17-0.
Vanderbilt dominated the first half but had only a 20-yard field goal by Jeff Owen on the final play of the second quarter to show for its efforts.
The 3-0 lead was scant considering the Commodores had the ball for 19:17, put up 13 first downs to three for the Wildcats and had 243 yards, including 216 on the ground, to Kentucky’s 53.
Vanderbilt had 431 yards for the game, including 386 on the ground, to 216 for the Wildcats and had the ball for 41:51.
Vandy’s first-half frustration began early when the Commodores drove 72 yards to the Kentucky 15 on their first possession only to have Owen’s 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
The Commodores moved 73 yards to the Wildcat 3 early in the second quarter, but Carlos Thomas fumbled on second-and-goal and Kentucky linebacker Don Robinson recovered.
Vandy’s only successful drive began at its 21 and was highlighted by a 14- yard scramble by Wilson that gave the Commodores a first down at the Kentucky 11.