Kentucky Wildcats: A First Look

The Vanderbilt Commodores travel to Lexington, Ky., to face the Wildcats of Kentucky on Saturday. Here is your first look at UK.


Kentucky (2-3, 1-2 SEC) has had an up and mostly down season, similar to Vandy. In their opening game, the Cats roared out to a 35-10 second quarter lead over Southern Miss only to see USM rally for 34 unanswered points to win 44-35.  The Wildcats followed that game with a 45-7 loss at Florida in a contest in which UK was out-gained 564 yards to 149. Kentucky ran all over New Mexico State piling up 389 rushing yards in a 62-42 victory in week 3. Against South Carolina, the Cats' Benny Snell scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to lead Kentucky over the Gamecocks, 17-10. Last week in Tuscaloosa the Wildcats made a decent accounting of themselves, leading the No. 1  Crimson Tide 3-0 early only to fall 34-6.   


Kentucky looking pretty good injury-wise.  Left tackle Cole Mosier who started the first two games but missed the previous three, is now "probable" for Vandy, as is reserve wide receiver Dorian Baker. Two players are listed as "questionable" for Saturday. Part-time starting linebacker Kobie Walker has a shoulder injury and reserve wide receiver Alexander Montgomery has a knee injury. Kentucky starting quarterback Drew Barker injured his back against New Mexico State and is out for the season. Defensive back Darius West injured a knee in preseason practice and is also out for the season. 


Vandy has yet to win a road game against a SEC opponent under Derek Mason. The Commodores have also never been at or over .500 in winning percentage. A win on Saturday in Lexington will achieve both those milestones. Vandy has already dropped two games in conference play that the Commodores could have won. Another slip-up on Saturday and the Black & Gold will be staring at a 3-9 2016 record. This Kentucky team is hard to figure out. They beat a team that beat Vandy but lost badly to a team the 'Dores nearly beat and out-played for the most part (Florida). I believe Kentucky may be improved with Stephen Johnson II now playing quarterback. He's mobile and a solid passer completing almost 64 percent of his passes. It seems like the Kentucky-Vanderbilt game is always so critical to both teams. Rarely does either team go to a bowl without beating the other.  A win over Kentucky is always sweet for the Vandy faithful who live in Kentucky or state line areas like Clarksville. Since 1991 this has been a heated series with Kentucky winning 13 to Vanderbilt's 12 victories. In the three games under James Franklin against the Wildcats Vanderbilt out-scored Kentucky 100-14. 

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