Welcome to the Week 10 Virtual Tailgate. Today's game is one that the Wildcats usually look forward to as a great opportunity for a win. However, hard times have fallen on the Bluegrass, and for the first time in a long time, the Vanderbilt Commodores come to Rupp Arena as the favorite in our own house.
Let's get started with our brunch. First, a great cocktail. Since Vanderbilt and Kentucky are so close together, there isn't a huge cuisine difference, so today, I'm just going to wing it.
Our cocktail will be:
Bourbon Mint Tea (via thebittenword.com)
That's a nice, refreshing drink for early in the morning. Moving on to the brunch proper, let's start out with:
chorizo breakfast burrito (via jeffreyw)
Some nice chorizo, egg and cheese breakfast burritos. With Jalapeños and sliced tomatoes on the side.
Moving along, our second brunch dish is:
Traditional Deviled Eggs - Dairy Free (via Cooking Gluten Free)
Classic, home style deviled eggs. Traditional and tasty.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (via arnold | inuyaki)
Classic comfort food.
Sausage Biscuit with Egg - The Delicious Daily 11.22.2009 (via TheDeliciousLife)
You gotta love a nice sausage, egg and cheese (optional) biscuit.
But you can't have a tailgate without beer. Let's have a nice winter brew:
Samuel Adams Winter Lager (via Matt Pettengill)
A nice, classic American winter lager.
Now that we're fed and have a drink, let's talk football.
First, the injury report.
Freshman cornerback Cody Quinn has a hamstring, but may play today. Tyler Robinson, the starting tight end, is still recovering from a back problem. We may see him, we may not.
Without a doubt, Kentucky has a chance to win this game. The Commodores are better, as we discussed in the pregame, but not that much better. Vanderbilt is vulnerable to the running game, just as Kentucky is, but Kentucky has been more successful in the red zone than Vanderbilt, and they are playing in the friendly confines of Commonwealth Stadium Vandy rarely even gets to the red zone on the road, having visited there only 9 times this season and converting six. By comparison, UK has been in the red zone 16 times, converting 14.
Quarterback play will of course be critical to Kentucky's success. Hopefully, it will not be as unfortunate as it was last week, or we will be looking at another lopsided loss. However, the young QB's have been much better at home than on the road, so I do think the circumstances favor a better performance.
With Rumph out, I worry about getting pressure on Jordan Rodgers. Rodgers won't throw much if Zac Stacy is able to run all over the Wildcats, but if Kentucky can somehow stop him to a significant degree, then we have to defend the pass, and Rodgers is a quality, experienced quarterback.
I don't think we'll see the fumbleitis of last week, as UK hasn't really been that kind of team all year. The thing is, though, that the Wildcats have always seemed to suffer from some malady every game that prevents them from winning, and it often seems like when one thing goes wrong, there is a cascade of errors from bad playcalling to unfortunately-timed penalties that snowball into an ugly outcome.
I have hope for this game. But not a lot of hope.