Derek Mason is looking to right the ship as the 0-5 Commodores take on the 2-4 Wildcats.
Vanderbilt faces a very different opponent this week than they have in the past 2. Kentucky is a run first team that rarely passes the ball, just 38% of plays. For context, Mississippi St. leads the nation in this category, throwing the ball on over 77% of plays.
Vanderbilt is a 17 point underdog with an over/under of 42 this week.
Kentucky’s offense has faltered the last 2 weeks scoring just 10 and 3 points against Missouri and Georgia respectively.
Let’s find out how The Dore Report sees this game goin.
After an improved performance against pass happy Mississippi State, the Commodores take on a Wildcat’s passing attack that is ranked dead last in the SEC, averaging just 118 yards per game. The next closest….. Tennessee, who is average over 175 yards per game.
It’s no secret, the Commodore secondary has been a huge weakness. Between opt-outs, transfers, and injuries the already thin secondary is even thinner. Thankfully, Kentucky is not a big threat in the passing game.
The Wildcat defense is strong, leading the SEC in points allowed per game. Their secondary has forced 11 interceptions and is the strength of their team. However, their pass rush is tied for 13th in sacks and their run defense is middle of the pack.
If Vanderbilt can control the ball, not turn the ball over, and slow down the Kentucky running game by stacking the box and making Terry Wilson throw the ball, I really like the Commodore’s chances for an upset.
All of the on the field statistics aside, this is a brutal game for Kentucky. Their Offensive Line coach, John Schlarman, passed away yesterday after his long battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with Big Blue Nation and his family. But how something like this impacts a team is something we will not know until kickoff on Saturday.
This, combined with the Wildcat’s possibly peaking ahead to their matchup against Alabama, and an 11am kickoff, make me think this Kentucky team, understandable, may not be extremely focused on 0-5 Vanderbilt.
We will know very early on if this is a replay of last years game, or if Vanderbilt will have a chance at victory. The Dores are HAVE to start better. They are being outscored 52-3 in the first quarter of games this season. If Ken Seals can manage the game, the offensive line can open up holes for Keyon Henry-Brooks, and the defensive line and linebackers step up, the Commodore’s will leave Lexington with a W.
I can’t believe I am making this prediction….. but Mason gets his first win of the season and we finally raise the victory flag.
Vandy pulls off the upset due to a tough situation in Lexington and Ken Seals Playing turnover free football. Defense steps up to make a couple plays in the commodores pull off the upset. Let’s party in Nashville.
First off, in much more important matters, thoughts and prayers to Big Blue Nation after Wildcat offensive line coach John Schlarman lost his battle with cancer Thursday. The Vanderbilt football family can certainly sympathize less than six months after Derek Mason’s senior defensive analyst, Osia Lewis, also passed away from cancer.
As for the game, Kentucky would typically appear to have an advantage coming off a bye week, but it’s hard to predict what their mindset will be after this week’s tragedy. Starting QB Terry Wilson might be back after sitting out their last game against Georgia with a wrist injury. In facing the Wildcats, Vandy will see the complete opposite of what they saw last weekend. While Mississippi State’s “air raid” offense had a nonexistent run game, Kentucky relies entirely on the strength of their offensive line and run game with minimal passing. What the Wildcats do have in common with Mississippi State, and Vandy for that matter, is their struggle to score. Defenses around the SEC seem to be catching up with Stoops’ one-dimensional offense. Kentucky does feature a stout defense, first in the SEC in passing yards allowed and third in total yards. My guess is Kentucky will rally at home for Coach Schlarman. While Vandy did look better last week against Mississippi State, I just can’t trust them until I see consistency. Two players entering the transfer portal mid-week, including a listed starter on the depth chart, is certainly an ominous sign suggesting more is going on behind the scenes than what we know…
UK will go into the Vanderbilt game this weekend with heavy hearts due to the passing of OL coach John Schlarman. Unfortunately for the Commodores, I think Kentucky plays with passion and heart, getting a definitive win Saturday. The physical toll from their run game will wear down the Commodore defense that showed heart last week.
The Commodores hit the road against Kentucky at Lexington in an early kickoff at Kroger Field. Kentucky will be playing with a heavy heart Saturday at their Offensive Line coach passed away Thursday and will also be without three other assistant coaches on Saturday. Kentucky leans heavily on a lethal running game on the shoulders on Chris Rodriguez and Asim Rose. The Commodores will need to avoid falling behind early in this one as they have in every game this season so far. Stopping the run and controlling the time of possession will be key factors of Vanderbilt wants to hang around and make this a close game Saturday afternoon in Lexington. Overall, it will be a pretty competitive game but, Kentucky is simply the better coached and more talented team in this matchup.
The Dore Report
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As always, Anchor Down
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