It sucked. But at least the second half gave us something to build on.
In a season that’s been light on reasons for hope, a blitz early in the second quarter pretty much put Saturday night’s game out of reach for Vanderbilt; a 7-3 deficit at the end of the first quarter was 28-3 less than five minutes of game time later, following two quick Kentucky touchdowns sandwiched around a Ken Seals pick six. Kentucky tacked on a field goal toward the end of the second quarter and had a chance to add more after a Vanderbilt three and out. But the best that Kentucky could get off the ensuing drive was a heave to the end zone — which, unlike the heave to end the first half against Missouri a couple of weeks ago, ended up in the hands of Vanderbilt wide receiver Chris Pierce, who collected his first career interception on his senior night.
And then came the second half, when Mike Wright came on in relief of Seals (who appeared to be injured toward the end of the first half), and Wright led a pair of touchdown drives in the second half to at least make the final score not embarrassing. Meanwhile, the defense managed to clamp down and hold the Wildcats to just a field goal in the entire second half. The final score was 34-17 in Kentucky’s favor, but that felt like it could have been a lot worse.