The Kentucky Wildcats went on the road and snapped a three game losing streak at Vanderbilt. The final score was 34-17 but, while the result propelled the Cats to 5-3 and a lock as the number two team in the East, some were disappointed with the win.
Kentucky led the Commodores 31-3 at half time and it seemed like they were going to pile it on the way Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and others have done all season long. But they were only able to muster three points in the second half while Vanderbilt trotted out a new quarterback and were able to 14 points on Kentucky’s defense.
Kentucky’s strategy was to go conservative on offense, which is understandable, but they weren’t able to establish the run in the second half against Vandy, which was concerning, and the defense once again looked like a shell of itself from the beginning of the season.
When asked about the offense in the second half, Mark Stoops said, and I’m paraphrasing, that he didn’t want to be aggressive on offense because the defense wasn’t doing the job. It’s worrisome that the defense wasn’t doing it’s job against Vanderbilt and I don’t think running the football effectively is “being aggressive”.
Bottom line: Kentucky is 7-3 and has a chance to go 9-3 which is something we have only seen once under Mark Stoops. But the fact of the matter is they have not played well during the back half of the schedule. They’ll dispatch of New Mexico State on Saturday but they won’t win at Louisville if they play football like they did in the second half against Vanderbilt. Malik Cunningham is one of the better quarterbacks that Kentucky has played all season and their offense has weapons even if Scott Satterfield doesn’t know how to use them correctly.
One more tune up before the big time finale of the regular season.
Tweets of the Day
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops picks up 1-year contract extension as Wildcats get 7th win of the season by beating Vanderbilt.— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) November 14, 2021
His deal now goes thru 6/30/27.
The additional year is set to pay him $6.5 million.
It's guaranteed for $4.875 million.
No wonder Stoops was so happy in that postgame press conference.
SEC power rankings after Week 11 pic.twitter.com/t6XPbdGbPS— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 14, 2021
I get the SEC East isn’t good compared to the totality of the West, but putting LSU over Kentucky is stupid.
UK football and basketball face the same challenge | Cats Pause- I think UK basketball is going to be damn good if they can get one more big to help Oscar. The football team has a lot riding on the Louisville game.
A tale of two halves | KSR- That’s indeed what this was as Kentucky moves to 7-3 on the season. Looking back on the totality of Kentucky football 2021, will we be saying the same thing?
Could players have a say if Shaedon Sharpe plays this season? | Vaught’s Views- This entire situation is fascinating. I don’t expect Sharpe to play this season but I’m not confident in that.
Kentucky volleyball sweeps the Aggies | UK Athletics- 13 aces will do that for you.
UK soccer knocks off top seeded FIU | Cats Pause- The men’s soccer team will play for the CUSA championship.
Drew Timme’s career night leads Gonzaga past Texas | CBS- The Zags big man poured on 37 points as his team obliterated the Longhorns. Chris Beard’s team didn’t look anywhere close tot Gonzaga’s level or close to being the number five team in the country.
Kansas stuns Texas...in football | ESPN- It was a tough day to be a Texas fan as the Jayhawks beat Texas in Texas as a 31 point underdog by scoring a two point conversion in overtime. Kansas had never won a game in Austin and they did it with a walk-on catching his first ever pass.
Samford debacle should be it for Dan Mullen | SI- Try telling Florida fans “a win is a win” today after they had to survive SAMFORD 70-56.
Lincoln Riley not happy with Baylor field goal | USA Today- If you don’t want the other team scoring on you then it’s pretty simple: stop them.