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Kentucky’s defense reflects on bye week and breaks down Vanderbilt

Back from the bye week, Kentucky’s defense is ready for the Commodores.

Aaron Gershon A Sea Of Blue

No. 14 Kentucky is back in action Saturday, and they are anxious to get back on track after falling to Texas A&M their last time on the field.

For the defense, they did everything they could to keep the Cats in the game. They held the Aggies to 20 points at home and forced a fumble recovering for a touchdown to tie the game and force overtime.

“It pisses us all off.” linebacker Kash Daniel said about the loss. “We knew how hard we worked throughout the season and in the weight room in the winter. and it came down to missed opportunities for us.”

Despite having a bad taste in their mouth for two weeks, the defensive players and coaches were pleased with their bye week.

“We got a lot of work done,” Daniel said “We got a lot of stuff corrected. With us having extra time, we got to walk our way into it and make sure everyone has the right communication.”

“We needed the bye week for mental and physical reasons,” safety Mike Edwards said. “We are definitely ready to get out there and take on Vanderbilt.”

As Edwards touched on, the focus for the Cats’ defense shifts to Vanderbilt, who has an offense full of playmakers.

Despite being winless in SEC play, Vandy’s offensive is 53rd in the FBS in total offense.

“It all starts with stopping those two guys (running backs Ke’Shawn Vaughn & Khari Blasingame). Their a really talented group. They’re physical and they can make plays when you let them.”

Senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur leads the Commodores. This will be his third career start against the Cats. He is 1-2 heading into the matchup.

Edwards, who has lined up against Shurmur in all of those starts, offered this:

“He’s a real game management quarterback. Edwards said. “He finds playmakers the ball, finds soft spots, and he can take off and run if he has to.”

Another big test for the Cats will be slowing down wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, who ranks fourth in the SEC in receiving yards coming into Saturday.

Last year. the Cats held him to just two catches for 44 yards. One of those, however, was good for a touchdown.

“It’s another receiver. another talent.” said cornerback Derrick Baity, who will be trailing Lipscomb for much of the game. “He’s really good. I like him but, we’re up for the challenge.”

The Cats will look to prove they’re indeed up for the challenge as they look to stay in a tie for first in the SEC East with a win over Vanderbilt.