Licking their wounds is something that Kentucky football fans are no stranger to. But Saturday’s heartbreaking loss to Tennessee was one that cut particularly deep.
After scoring on their first two drives of the game, the UK offense went virtually non-existent for the final three quarters. It was an especially tough loss to endure considering it came at the hands of the Volunteers, a team that has gotten the best of Kentucky so many times.
After the game Mark Stoops very simply said, “This is an extremely difficult loss for our team.”
There is now no other option but to move forward as the 4-5 Cats look to claw their way to bowl eligibility. With only three games left, Kentucky’s next game against Vanderbilt now becomes extremely important.
The Wildcats will travel to Nashville to take on the 2-7 Commodores who were absolutely demolished 56-0 at the hands of the Florida Gators on Saturday. The game will kick-off at 3:30 EST and will mark the first afternoon in game for Kentucky in quite a while. The Cats’ final three games will all feature afternoon start times.
Heading into this game many people are wondering if UK can feasibly stick with Lynn Bowden as the only option at quarterback. The Cats only attempted seven total passes that accumulated a measly 25 yards. The offense was mind boggling predictable and left much to be desired.
On the bright side, Kentucky did dominate time of possession by controlling the ball for over 41 of the 60 minutes of gameplay. But something will have to change if this season is to end up being remembered fondly.
If there is any solace after UK’s painstaking loss to Tennessee it is that Vandy showed little signs of life this weekend and are about an easy of an opponent as it gets in the SEC. That being said, the Dores did knock off Missouri on their home field just a few weeks ago and with UK’s well documented struggles on offense, nothing is a sure thing. Vandy only tallied 128 total yards of offense against the Gators while giving up over 400. It was about as lopsided of a game as it gets.
With the assumption that Kentucky will beat Tennessee Martin next week, it comes down to needing to beat either Vanderbilt or Louisville to become eligible for a bowl. I think it’s fair to say that most members of the Big Blue Nation would rather not have UK’s 2019 bowl eligibility come down to a showdown with Louisville in the final game of the season.
Hopefully, there will still be a lot of blue inside Vanderbilt Stadium to support the Cats on Saturday.
Location: Vanderbilt Stadium - Nashville, Tennessee
Start Time: 3:30 Eastern/2:30 Central on November 16th, 2019
TV Info: SEC Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Odds: Kentucky opened as an 8.5-point favorite. ESPN matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 78% at victory
Score projection: TeamRankings is projecting a 31-22 win for Kentucky.