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Vanderbilt Commodores at Kentucky Wildcats: Live Game Thread

Perhaps never in history has a Kentucky football team needed a win more than the Wildcats do today.

Andy Lyons

Welcome to the Open Game Thread for the Vanderbilt Commodores at Kentucky Wildcats. This is the game Kentucky fans have been pointing to all season, as most feel it represents Kentucky’s best chance to end the 17-game SEC losing streak that the Wildcats have suffered, and also perhaps the best measuring stick as to the progress Mark Stoops has made with this football team in his short but exciting tenure.

Game Particulars:

The arc of the Wildcats return from ignominious futility will be determined in large part today. Kentucky fans know that this is a game Kentucky should win, and will likely be the only SEC game of the year in which the Wildcats are favored. This is the time to put up or shut up, and offers Kentucky the opportunity to put "paid" to some old debts incurred by the Commodores over the last few season where Vanderbilt ran up an enormous number of points on the Wildcats, embarrassing the program and the fans. A victory today would help allay that embarrassment, and a big, decisive victory would go a long way toward paying back some of that pain.

Unfortunately, I’ll be on the road during the game, and unable to see it. But I’ll be monitoring it as much as possible with my telephone, and I’ll be with you in cyberspace as we push to root this Kentucky team toward an impressive comeback from the depths of despair. Kentucky needs this SEC losing streak to end like the flower needs the rain, and if nothing else comes of this game, that fact, if it materializes, will be an unalloyed good thing for Kentucky.

Keys to success

  • Special teams play — Vanderbilt scored two special teams touchdowns on South Carolina, and we must respect the ability of Darrius Sims;

  • Get pressure on the Vanderbilt quarterback, whoever he is;

  • Attack the Vanderbilt secondary, as it is one of their vulnerabilities;

  • Establish the run as early as possible;

  • Put up as many points as possible — Vanderbilt’s defense in general is very young this season, and their best hope of beating Kentucky is to put up a bunch of points and hope UK can’t match them.

  • Fan support — if ever there was a game where Kentucky needed its fans to pack Commonwealth, this is it.

This is the biggest contest of Stoops & Co.’s career to date. It is almost impossible to overstate how critical it is for UK to win this football game, and I think they will do so, and do it in style. The gulf between last year’s team and this one is vast, and getting wider every practice. I feel deep down in my heart that there has never been a football team hungrier for a victory than Kentucky is today. This is one of those moments, and I expect it to be one we’ll all want to remember.

Go, ‘Cats!