Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Wildcats and Commodores.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 8 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY
TV Broadcast: SEC Network
Kentucky, when facing tough SEC defenses, has been able to do absolutely nothing on offense. Against Alabama this past Saturday, the Wildcats could only muster 161 total yards and six points. Vanderbilt’s defense is another tough test.
The same problem that plagues Kentucky is also a liability for the Commodores: scoring points. In two SEC games this season, Vanderbilt has only 16 total points. Running back Ralph Webb does provide a spark for them at times, though.
What To Know About Kentucky
Starting quarterback Drew Barker is still out, so it is Stephen Johnson’s team to run for the foreseeable future. He was bad in the game against Alabama, fumbling three times while throwing for just 89 yards. He wasn’t the only one that struggled, as running back Boom Williams was held to 22 yards. The running game must get on track for this offense to be successful against Vanderbilt.
The defense has been a problem for the Wildcats as well, allowing 35 points per game, good for 102nd in the nation. Shutting down Webb and putting pressure on the Vanderbilt passing game will be key.
What to Know About Vanderbilt
Can the Vanderbilt offense get anything going outside of Webb? Kyle Shurmur has been less than mediocre, and after suffering an injury against Florida in the fourth quarter, will be back. Shoving the ball down the opponents’ throats with Webb only works so much if the passing game does nothing.
Linebacker Zach Cunningham will be playing on Sunday soon in the NFL, as he has been the presence everyone thought he would be on defense. Cunningham has made 52 total tackles with 8.5 for a loss and one forced fumble.
Offense: Tie. Neither has done much against quality competition.
Defense: Vanderbilt. The defense kept the ‘Dores in the game against Florida, only to be let down by the offense.
Special Teams: Tie. Both field goal kickers have been rarely used.
Coaching: Tie. Is this a case where the losing coach gets fired?
Intangibles: Kentucky. If they can pull this game out, the Wildcats could being dreaming again about a bowl bid.
Matchup To Watch
Ralph Webb vs. Kentucky front seven
The Wildcats can’t let Webb get going on the ground, as that is the only way the Commodores will be successful on offense.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Betting Odds
Spread: Kentucky -3
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Prediction
Points will be at a premium in this one, as both teams have had an extremely difficult time finding the end zone against quality competition. It will come down to whichever running back can do the most: Kentucky’s Boom Williams or Vanderbilt’s Ralph Webb. I’m going to go with Williams and the ‘Cats in this one, as Mark Stoops keeps his job for another week.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Score Prediction: Kentucky 24, Vanderbilt 17