Kentucky comes into this game with a 6-4 record after a thrilling 42-38 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday. The Wildcats are now going with freshman Randall Cobb at quarterback. Cobb is the classic duel threat quarterback. Cobb had a really good game against the Bulldogs going 12-20 for 105 yards through the air and carrying the ball 18 times for 82 yards. The challenge for the Vandy defense will be to make Cobb beat them with his arm, and that starts with the guys up front. They have to play their assignments to keep Cobb from having a lane to run.
Cobb’s specialty is the option. That can be one of the toughest plays in football to defend. Just like when Cobb drops back to pass, the Black and Gold defense will need to play their assignments to keep the option from going for a big gain. Look for the Vandy cornerbacks to play a big role in defending the option. If they can keep contain it will funnel the play back to the middle where the other defenders are pursuing.
The Cats rushing attack is led by sophomore running back Derrick Locke. Locke has 63 carries for 319 yards and 1 touchdown on the season. He is a shifty guy that has the ability to hit the home run from anywhere on the field. The Dores will need to wrap him up when they have the chance. If they go for the big hit he will make them miss and turn what should have been a short gain into a big play.
The Kentucky defense is giving up 128.6 yards per game on the ground. The Commodores offense should attack them with Jared Hawkins, Jeff Jennings, and whichever quarterback gets the starting nod. Chris Nickson looks to be their better option in this game. He looked healthy in the second half last week, and he is a better runner than Mackenzi Adams. A game like this is more than likely going to be decided in the fourth quarter. If the Dores offense can sustain some drives early in the game it will wear down the Cats defense and some plays should be there in the fourth quarter.
The rushing game will also be important because the forecast is calling for temperatures in the mid 30s at game time with a 30% chance of rain or snow. Conditions like that make it hard to move the ball through the air. Whichever team can establish their running game will probably be the one that comes out on top.
These two teams are pretty evenly matched so the margin of error is small for both of them. Games like this usually come down to the running game and the turnover battle. The Commodores will come out on top if they can take care of the ball like they did in the first five games of the season.