Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores

· NCAA - Football
4-0, 1-0 Away
45 - 28

Hairston's pair of pick-6s give Kentucky 45-28 vin over Vanderbilt

Kentucky uses fast start to dispatch Vanderbilt

““I was just doing my job,” Hairston said. “When you do your job, the ball just comes your way.”

After starting the season with three home victories over nonconference opponents, Kentucky began its Southeastern Conference schedule with its first road win. The Wildcats (4-0, 1-0) started strong, scoring three first quarter touchdowns, two on offense as well as a 29-yard pick six by Hairston.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said it feels good to get the first league win, especially on the road.

“Getting off to a fast start on the road for an 11 o'clock kickoff was something of importance for us, and we stressed that and it was great to see,” Stoops said. “There were obviously some moments in there that are just kind of sloppy ... It gets very, I don't want to say concerning, it gets frustrating at times.”

Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-1) has lost three straight. Coach Clark Lea said he was disappointed in both the result and how his Commodores played.

“You look at 21 points off turnovers, two interceptions that went for touchdowns,” Lea said. “That will never be a winning formula.”

Vanderbilt began to find its offensive stride late in the first half, putting up 10 points on a pair of six-play drives to send the game to halftime trailing 24-10.

AJ Swann entered Saturday with 1,062 yards passing this season to lead the SEC and rank fourth among FBS quarterbacks in both categories, but he was held to 189 yards on 16-of-40 passing Saturday with three interceptions. Lea said Swann is still dealing with a bruised elbow.

“We've got to monitor AJ's health and availability as we move forward, but we certainly need mroe from that position,” Lea said.

Hairston closed out Kentucky’s scoring with a 54-yard interception return for his second touchdown of the game with just over four minutes remaining. He’s the first player in Kentucky history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a game, and he tied the SEC record as well.

“Did you see what Max did today? Two pick-6s,” Davis said. “Crazy thing is, me and Max talked about this all week. This game meant so much to him. He made a statement today. Look at the man, he had a good day.”


Kentucky: Davis’ two touchdowns were into familiar end zones. He transferred to Kentucky from Vanderbilt after last season, when he ran for over 1,000 yards, and played a key role in the Commodores ending their 26-game SEC losing streak in a road game at Kentucky. In that game, he rushed for 129 yards.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores lost their third straight game, their first home defeat of the season. After catching two touchdowns in Vanderbilt’s first three games of the seasons, senior wide receiver Will Sheppard has been kept out of the end zone in consecutive contests. He caught just two balls for 31 yards on 10 targets Saturday.


Vanderbilt safety Jaylen Mahoney’s afternoon lasted just two defensive snaps after he was disqualified for targeting Wildcats receiver Dane Key following a 14-yard reception with 12:30 remaining in the first quarter. Last week, Mahoney was knocked out of Vanderbilt’s loss at UNLV with an injured hip.

The Commodores were already without injured safeties De’Rickey Wright (ankle) and Savion Riley (upper body) who did not dress for the game.


Kentucky received 10 votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll and could enter the rankings after Saturday’s decisive win extended their undefeated start to the season.


Kentucky: Hosts Florida on Sept. 30.

Vanderbilt: Hosts Missouri on Sept. 30.

How To Watch

How can I watch Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores?
  • TV Channel: Wildcats at Commodores 2021 College Football, week 4, is broadcasted on SECN.
  • Online streaming: Sign up for Fubo.

Matchup Prediction

Commodores: 21.3%
Wildcats: 78.7%
*According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index

Scoring Summary

UK TD 1st Period 9:51 JuTahn McClain 36 Yd Run (Alex Raynor Kick)
UK TD 1st Period 8:14 Maxwell Hairston 29 Yd Interception Return (Alex Raynor Kick)
UK TD 1st Period 1:56 Ray Davis 2 Yd Run (Alex Raynor Kick)
UK FG 2nd Period 4:53 Alex Raynor 27 Yd Field Goal
VAN FG 2nd Period 2:51 Jacob Borcila 41 Yd Field Goal
VAN TD 2nd Period 0:20 Sedrick Alexander 7 Yd Run (Jacob Borcila Kick)
VAN FG 3rd Period 11:25 Jacob Borcila 32 Yd Field Goal
UK TD 3rd Period 6:44 Ray Davis 1 Yd Run (Alex Raynor Kick)
UK TD 4th Period 10:35 Dane Key 22 Yd pass from Devin Leary (Alex Raynor Kick)
VAN TD 4th Period 8:00 Patrick Smith 2 Yd Run (AJ Swann Pass to Quincy Skinner Jr. for Two-Point Conversion)
UK TD 4th Period 4:15 Maxwell Hairston 54 Yd Interception Return (Alex Raynor Kick)
VAN TD 4th Period 0:23 Kamrean Johnson 10 Yd pass from Ken Seals (Jacob Borcila Kick)

18 1st Downs 20
5-11 3rd down efficiency 6-17
0-0 4th down efficiency 1-1
365 Total Yards 328
205 Passing 231
15-29 Comp-Att 20-47
7.1 Yards per pass 4.9
160 Rushing 97
31 Rushing Attempts 27
5.2 Yards per rush 3.6
10-106 Penalties 7-75
2 Turnovers 4
0 Fumbles lost 0
2 Interceptions thrown 4
31:11 Possession 28:49

Game Information

FirstBank Stadium

Location: Nashville, TN
Attendance: 26,279 · Capacity:

SEC - East

Georgia 13-1 8-0
Missouri 11-2 6-2
Tennessee 9-4 4-4
Kentucky 7-6 3-5
Florida 5-7 3-5
South Carolina 5-7 3-5
Vanderbilt 2-10 0-8

SEC - West

Alabama 12-2 8-0
Ole Miss 11-2 6-2
LSU 10-3 6-2
Texas A&M 7-6 4-4
Auburn 6-7 3-5
Mississippi State 5-7 1-7
Arkansas 4-8 1-7
Full Standings

College Football News

Notre Dame football roster loaded with sons of NFL veterans

Notre Dame football roster loaded with sons of NFL veterans

Three of Notre Dame's 2025 recruits' fathers played for the Pittsburgh Steelers together in the early 2000s.

Michigan OC touts 'explosive' offense, won't rush QB decision

Michigan OC touts 'explosive' offense, won't rush QB decision

New Michigan offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell sees big-play ability throughout the unit, including with a mostly untested group of quarterbacks that will continue competing to replace J.J. McCarthy during preseason camp.

Michigan gets commit from Brady Hart for 2026 recruiting class

Michigan gets commit from Brady Hart for 2026 recruiting class

Quarterback Brady Hart, who is ranked 120th overall in the 2026 ESPN 300 and is the No. 8 pocket passer in the class, has committed to Michigan.

Bill Connelly's 2024 college football conference previews

Bill Connelly's 2024 college football conference previews

Read every one of the in-depth conference previews to be ready for the 2024 season.

Mountain West 2024 preview: Breaking down Boise State, Fresno State and other contenders

Mountain West 2024 preview: Breaking down Boise State, Fresno State and other contenders

What's ahead in the MW in 2024? We break down the best players and games and title odds in the league.