With a frustrating season record of 6-3, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats aim to finish the latter half of the season on a strong note.
There is still plenty to play for when you consider two of UK’s last three opponents will produce must-see TV opportunities.
Soon enough, the Cats will get their chance to claw away at the #1 Georgia Bulldogs on CBS while also finishing the season at home against the program’s biggest rival, the University of Louisville.
As big as those games will be, they won’t mean nearly as much if Will Levis and company can’t fend off their next conference foe.
Kentucky and Vanderbilt will kickoff at Kroger Field on Saturday at noon. The SEC Network will have the television coverage with Tom Leach on the home radio broadcast.
After a wacky 21-17 victory in their last outing, Kentucky is an 18-point favorite over the Commodores according to the DraftKings SportsBook.
Playing in the SEC can be brutal, but it’s always nice when Vandy shows up on the football schedule.
After a tough 2-10 season in 2021, second year head coach Clark Lea has the ‘Dores playing respectable football at 3-6 but the club remains winless in conference play.
Vandy’s last two SEC games against Missouri and South Carolina were lost by a combined 14 points.
“We’re up against a team that is much better than people perceive. I have a lot of respect for Clark Lea and the way he coaches, and their team, and we have to put it back together.” Mark Stoops told the media on Monday.
Scoring points has proven to be a problem for Lea’s squad, and that’s putting it nicely. They’re dead last in the conference play with just 72 points scored all year.
If you’re wondering, no, Kentucky is not second to last with their 113 points scored. Shout out to Missouri for checking in with just 110 to claim that spot.
Vanderbilt’s freshman QB, AJ Swann, has been underwhelming but efficient since taking over the reins after just two games to begin the year. His 10 TDs and just two interceptions have shown some flashes of promise, but unfortunately, he went down last week against USC and will not be available for the Dores’ trip to Lexington.
Instead, backup Mike Wright, who saw action last year against Kentucky, will get another chance to call the play after being benched earlier in the year.
These two lackluster offenses matching up has created a boring over/under expectation of right around 48 points.
All year it’s been increasingly difficult to evaluate just exactly where this Kentucky football program is.
As much of a roller coaster as this season has proved to be I think you can put a lot of stock into how UK plays on Saturday against a bad team.
As an 18 point favorite against a winless conference team you should be able to clean up sloppy play (most notably special teams) all while putting together a full 60 minutes of football.
Heading into a game against a world-beating Georgia team the following week, it’d be encouraging to see the Cats look ready to roll on Saturday.
While this game won’t be much attention nationally, it’s a very important time in Lexington. This will be Hall of Fame Weekend as the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022 will be inducted.
Jim Andrews (men’s basketball), Derek Bryant (baseball), Dezerea Bryant (women’s track and field), Keenan Burton (football), Mike Lyden (swimming and diving) and Kelsey Nunley-Moore (softball) will all achieve UK immortality this weekend, and they’ll be honored during Saturday’s game (read more about the 2022 class here).
Keep your eye on the weather though as the Bluegrass will be trading the sunny warm skies for frigid temps, windy conditions and potential rain snow mix by the time the ball is kicked off.
Time: 12 pm ET on November 12th, 2022
Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky
TV Channel: SEC Network
Announcers: Play-by-Play, Dave Neal; Analysis, Deuce McAllister; Sideline, Andraya Carter
Radio: Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro have the UK radio network call on 630AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and the UK Sports Network.
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings for replay schedule).
Weather: Cloudy with rain and snow showers in the morning. Partial clearing in the afternoon. High 42F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%, per weather.com.
Score Projection: TeamRankings projects a 33-14 victory, Kentucky!