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Kentucky Wildcats Football: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Virtual Tailgate

The WIldcats are back in action in Commonwealth Stadium for an early afternoon tilt with the Commodores. Who's hungry?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats are coming off of a bye week after a near win against the Florida Gators in the Swamp. Missed opportunities were the culprits as the ‘Cats again faced a loss in triple overtime. But there is much to be happy about in spite of the disappointment. Patrick Toweles probably had his best game as a Wildcat and the young wide receivers made big plays down the stretch.

The Vanderbilt Commodores are coming into Lexington after a disappointing game of their own. They played the South Carolina Gamecocks down to the wire last Saturday in Nashville, only to come up 14 points short.

The ‘Cats and the ‘Dores both are in need of an SEC win. The Wildcats are 0-1 in the conference and on a 17 game losing streak. Vandy is 0-2 in the conference and want to prove that their season can be salvaged after a disastrous start.

Before they get down to business on the field, let's see what's going on in the parking lot.

Bloody Mary's anyone? This breakfast drink classic is good for these early tailgating experiences. The recipes vary, but the key is the type of vodka one uses and how spicy one wants it. For me, I enjoy Grey Goose, 3 dashes of Worcestershire, 4 dashes of tobasco sauce, some celery salt, a little bit of ground black pepper, ¼ ounce of lemon juice, 4 ounces of tomato juice, a lemon wedge on the glass, and a celery stalk is how I like mine.

While we enjoy our drink, let's munch before the main course. Fried mac and cheese balls will do the trick for us. This Southern twist on an American classic is becoming a popular item in restaurants, but they are very easy to make. 4 cups of cooked and drained elbow macaroni, 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, 3 eggs beaten, ½ cup of sour cream, 4 tablespoons of cubed butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 cup of milk will make the mac and cheese portion. Make the mac and cheese into squares; dredge them in flour and bread crumbs and then fry to enjoy.

It's practically breakfast time, so what's breakfast without bacon? For our main course, let's take that bacon and put it on a cheeseburger. Instead of buying a pack of frozen burgers, let's indulge ourselves with a little bit of gourmet meat. Mix 2 finely chopped onions, 2 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon of cider vinegar, and 1 pound of ground beef for the burger patties. Grill until done, then place bacon, cheese and whichever toppings desire on top and enjoy.

What's a good bacon cheeseburger without fries? I prefer sweet potato fries. Cut them up in long slices, season with seasoning salt and paprika, bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees and dip them in ketchup for a great side to a great burger.

It's time for desert in our tailgate, and nothing is better than a nice slice of hot apple pie with a big scoop of ice cream melting on top.

To wash this delicious meal down, a good beer is in order. I'm attending the game today with Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale in tow. It won't exactly be fall weather, but this a fall beer to beat all fall beers.

The players are hungry for an SEC win. Bud Dupree hasn't had a conference win since he was a freshman when Matt Roark shocked the Tennessee Volunteers. It's been a long road for a player like Dupree, one of the few holdovers from the Joker Phillips regime.

The spread is all the way up to 17 points. It would be nice if the ‘Cats covered, but when it comes down to it, a win is the most important thing. Sure, everyone wants a 45-14 score, but 24-20 would be just as sweet.

The Commodores aren't very good and they will be starting a freshman at quarterback. Derek Mason has made some questionable decisions with his roster, especially at the QB position, and seemed to be in over his head. But Vandy could have new life after the South Carolina game, even though Steve Spurrier is convinced his team's lack of good play had more to do with the 41-34 score than did Vandy's good play.

The Wildcats should be able to take advantage through the air as Vanderbilt's secondary is very poor. The defensive front seven need to be ready to face a Stanford-like power running game. Kentucky hasn't done a great job stopping the run this season, so this will be a great test for them.

Hopefully Commonwealth Stadium will be rocking today. These players and coaches have put in a lot of hard work and they should be rewarded by the fans. And hopefully the fans will be rewarded with a conference win in turn.