Wildcats Continue SEC Slate Against Vanderbilt
After a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss at Florida, followed by an open date, the University of Kentucky football team is anxious to get back on the field and continue Southeastern Conference action as it faces Vanderbilt on Saturday at noon ET inside Commonwealth Stadium.
|Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt|
|Sat., Sept. 27 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | VU
|TV: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
Live Video via SEC Network+
Gameday Live : Live audio, blog, stats, and social media
|UK||2014 Team Stats||VU|
|25.0||Kickoff returns (avg)||25.3|
|9.0||Punt returns (avg)||8.4|
|29:30||Time of possession/game||27:39|
|46.0||Third down conversion (pct)||33.3|
|50.0||Fourth down conversion (pct)||0.0|
|384.3||Total yards allowed/game||423.2|
|164.7||Rush yards allowed/game||156.0|
|219.7||Pass yards allowed/game||267.2|
The Wildcats went toe-to-toe with the Gators before falling in triple overtime. Sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles was 24-for-45 in the game with 369 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was true freshman wide receiver Garrett Johnson, who caught six passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The 154 yards were the most ever by a UK freshman.
Kentucky is looking to rebound with a win over Vanderbilt, which is coming off a 48-34 shootout loss at home vs. South Carolina. A victory would take UK’s record to 3-1 for the first time since 2010 and only the fifth time since 2000.
Cat Scratches: Opportunities abound for UK in Vandy matchup
Kentucky's long wait between games hasn't been any fun.
For two weeks, the Wildcats have had to stew over a triple-overtime loss at Florida. They've thought over and over about all the things, big and small, they could have done to turn a defeat that came by the slimmest of margins into a signature win.
On Saturday against Vanderbilt, the Cats finally get to take a shot at washing away the sour taste that's stayed with them for too long.
"This is a great opportunity for us to go out and showcase what we have (done) over the break that we had, to make up for the mistakes that we had during the Florida game and to show that we fixed it," Bud Dupree said. ... read the full preview
Under first-year head coach Derek Mason, Vanderbilt has started the season 1-3, including an 0-2 record in conference play. The Commodores started the season with consecutive losses to Temple and highly ranked Ole Miss before earning a 34-31 win over Massachusetts in week three. Last week, VU had an early lead on No. 14 South Carolina before the Gamecocks eventually posted a 48-34 victory. Saturday’s meeting between Kentucky and Vanderbilt will be the first game of the season for VU outside the city of Nashville. The Commodores played Temple, UMASS and South Carolina at Vanderbilt Stadium while squaring off against Ole Miss at LP Field.
Offensively, the Commodores are averaging 19.5 points per game, including 119.2 rushing yards per game and 164.2 passing yards per game. Four different quarterbacks have played this season for VU with Patton Robinette and Wade Freebeck getting the reps against South Carolina last weekend. Robinette is 23-for-32 this season for 240 yards and two touchdowns, while Freebeck is 12-for-22 for 171 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Ralph Webb leads the team in rushing with 77 carries for 378 yards and one touchdown, while junior Jerron Seymour has 11 carries for 47 yards. Junior Steven Scheu leads the team in receiving with 12 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown, while Latevius Rayford has nine catches for 79 yards.
The VU defense is allowing 39.2 points per game this season, including 156 yards rushing yards per game and 267.2 passing yards per game. VU has forced nine fumbles and recovered five, ranking second in the SEC in fumble recoveries. Freshman linebacker Nigel Bowden leads the team in tackles this season with 27, including a tackle for loss and two quarterback hurries, while three other VU players - defensive back Torren McGaster, safety Ryan White and linebacker Stephen Weatherly - have 20+ tackles. Junior linebacker Caleb Azubike leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks with five and four, respectively, while freshman defensive back Oren Burks has a team-best four pass breakups.
Vanderbilt is averaging 25.3 yards per kickoff return this season and 8.4 yards per punt return. Darrius Smith returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against South Carolina and is averaging 36.5 yards per return. Tommy Openshaw is 3-for-4 in FG tries, while also handling all kickoff duties. Colby Cooke is averaging 44.3 yards per punt this season.