|GAME TIME||4:00 PM EST|
Commodores Key Player
Kyle Shurmur has been undoubtedly one of the most efficient quarterbacks in College Football this season. He’s thrown for over 1,800 yards this season to go along with 20 touchdown and only 3 interceptions. He defines the role “game manager” and even though Vandy hasn’t been that successful this year, Kyle has the ability to torch anybody.
Cats Key Player
Josh Allen has to be a force against Vandy. The Cats have relied on him all year to disrupt the opposing team’s quarterback, and he’s answered the bell every single time. In order for Kentucky to play better on defense, Josh has to be the guy that leads the charge. If he can get to the quarterback at a consistent rate tomorrow, expect the Cats to have a major advantage.
Game Preview and Analysis
This is arguably the biggest game of the Mark Stoops era. It’s not because of the opponent, it’s because of the situation. If Kentucky somehow loses to Vanderbilt this weekend, things are going to get a lot more dicey in Lexington.
No disrespect to Vanderbilt, they’re a good, improving team. However, based on the season the Cats have had so far, disappointing would be an understatement when describing a loss to Vandy. This is especially true after the way they lost to Ole Miss.
In order for Kentucky to win this game, they’re going to have to improve on the defensive side of the ball. These past few weeks the defense isn’t the same one we saw in the beginning of the year. I’m not sure if it’s fatigue, or if they’re not as good as we thought, but something has to give. Kentucky’s defense has too much talent to give lackluster performances like they have been lately.
With that being said, the offense can’t put them in negative situations. Last week against Ole Miss is a perfect example. The Cats had 4 straight drives that resulted in a three-and-out. That can’t happen! Doing that puts your defense in a bad situation, and it doesn’t allow your offense to get into a rhythm.
Kentucky will need to take their play to the next level at Vandy. In order for them to be taken seriously as an SEC opponent, they need to win gams like these. Hopefully the fact that they’re an underdog lights a fire under them that allows the team to rally against Vandy.
So who’s going to win? I think the players are upset, I think Stoops is upset, and I think the program as a whole is upset. I believe they’ll use this fire to propel themselves to victory in Nashville. The final score will be 34-14. The Cats are going to come out firing on offense and remain hot on the defensive side.
It’s time for this team to prove that they can pick themselves up when they’re down.