Kentucky Blasts Vanderbilt 56-30

Woody Widenhofer and the Vanderbilt seniors lose their last home game despite over 500 Vandy yards and 30 first downs.

Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen told coach Guy Morriss he played his best game of the season Saturday, and Morriss said he believed him. Lorenzen threw for a career-high 453 yards and six touchdowns as Kentucky won an offensive battle of the SEC East bottom-feeders with a 56-30 victory over Vanderbilt.

The victory was the first Southeastern Conference win for first-year coach Guy Morriss and snapped a 15-game SEC losing streak for the Wildcats (2-7, 1-6). Vanderbilt (2-7, 0-6) lost the final home game for Woody Widenhofer, who resigned last Thursday, effective the end of the season. "The kids have waited long enough for it," said Morris, whose own job security for next year is in question. They are very deserving today and played very well. It has been a long time coming."

Two of the worst defensive teams in the nation lived up to their billing as Kentucky and Vanderbilt piled up 1,125 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Lorenzen completed 26 of 37 passes on the afternoon, leading a Kentucky attack that dominated from the beginning and gained 583 total yards. The 56 points were a season-high for the Wildcats.

"It might have been the best (game) of my career," Lorenzen said. "This is the most touchdowns I've ever thrown and I didn't throw any interceptions, so it has to be one of my better games."

Kentucky tight end Derek Smith had four catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns, while Derek Abney had seven catches for 113 yards and two scores. The kids should feel very confident about the offense," Morris said. "I don't think they ever doubted it. It was just a matter of time before we could bust it open, and we did."

The yards were piled up against a Vanderbilt defense that was coming off a 71-13 loss to Florida the week before and was two steps behind the Kentucky attack all afternoon.

"Our defense has struggled because we have been decimated by injuries," Widenhofer said. "Our secondary is missing three starters and against a team like Kentucky, who passes 50-60 times a game, they can exploit that weakness."

On the offensive side for Vanderbilt, senior Greg Zolman threw for a career-high 441 yards, completing 29 of 45 with two touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Dan Stricker also set a career-high with 12 catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

Kentucky put the game away when Artose Pinner scored from a yard out with 7:02 to play, giving the Wildcats a 49-30 lead. The score capped a 10-play, 77-yard drive and effectively ended Vanderbilt's chances to send Widenhofer out a winner in his final appearance at Vanderbilt Stadium.

With all of the offense in the game, one of the game's biggest plays was made by the Kentucky defense. Kentucky led 30-13 at halftime after linebacker Jamal White scooped up a Zolman fumble and raced 82 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.

"That 14-point turnaround was something we didn't recover from," Widenhofer said. Top Stories