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November 3, 2012

Kentucky loses 40-0 in embarrassing fashion

There wasn't much for Kentucky after Saturday's loss. A few fans. Little hope for coach Joker Phillips. Zero points.

Vanderbilt shut Kentucky out 40-0 at Commonwealth Stadium as the Wildcats' season spiraled further downward. UK (1-9, 0-7 Southeastern Conference) left the game with its longest losing streak since 2000, its first home shutout since 1993, and suffered its worst loss to Vanderbilt since 1916.

"There are some hurt young men in there right now," Phillips said. "No doubt about that. They are definitely not proud of the way we performed."

The Commodores (4-4, 3-3 SEC) moved the ball at will, scoring touchdowns on five of their first six possessions to knock the Wildcats out of the game early. They had a 27-0 lead at halftime as Kentucky crossed midfield just once until the game was all but over in the second half.

In the last two games against the Commodores, UK has been outscored 78-8. That's the worst back-to-back showing against Vanderbilt in the history of the program.

"It's always depressing after a loss,” sophomore safety Ashely Lowery said. "Nobody likes to lose. And then on top of that, getting shut out in your home 40-0, that's real depressing."

There were few positives for Kentucky to take solace in after the game. Two weeks after pushing Georgia to the limit in a 29-25 loss, the Wildcats slipped backward once again.

Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles combined to finish a sporadic 13-35 passing for 159 yards. Vanderbilt's balanced offense finished with 227 rushing yards and 220 passing yards.

"We've got guys that have just started shaving, that's still trying to figure out why the toilet paper doesn't magically appear in the bathroom; because their moms always put it there," offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said. "They'll grow up. They'll mature."

Nothing went right for UK. There were gaffes on special teams and seven penalties for 100 yards. The ugliest number of the day came in the stands.UK announced attendance as 44,902 -- the lowest for a game since 1996 -- but the actual number was likely far lower.

Defensive coordinator Rick Minter didn’t feel any better about what he saw on the field. Vanderbilt finished with 220 yards passing and 227 yards rushing. The Commodores found cracks all over the UK defense, converting on 11 of 17 third downs

"It just seemed like it went downhill from the first snap," junior linebacker Avery Williamson said.

As UK took another step backward, Vanderbilt roared. The Commodores moved one step closer to a bowl game with their biggest win in the SEC since 1948 and their first shutout in the conference since 1968.

Phillips understood the weight of the loss.

"I get this business," he said. "I get the criticism. Nobody in this program wants this place to have success more than me, but I understand. I understand this is a business that is based on results, and we haven't gotten the results right now."

Injury Report
Senior wide receiver E.J. Fields had a rib contusion and did not return. Senior defensive back Martavius Neloms and freshman cornerback Cody Quinn both re-aggravated hamstring injuries and did not return.


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