Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores
Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday, November 16, 2013, 12:21 pm Eastern, TV: SEC Network
Opening Line: Vanderbilt -13 1/2
Current Line: Vanderbilt -12 1/2
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 53
Opening Money Line: Vanderbilt -450 / Kentucky +355
Current Money Line: Vanderbilt -475 / Kentucky +380
The 5-4 Vanderbilt Commodores are 2-4 in the SEC East. The Commodores can become bowl eligible for the third straight year for the first time in program history with at least one more win in their last 3 games. The Commodores host the 2-7 Kentucky Wildcats Saturday. Kentucky is 0-5 in the SEC .
The Wildcats lead the series against the Commodores 41-40-4, and has has won 8 of the last 12 games in the series. However, Vanderbilt has won 2 straight games against Kentucky including 40-0 last year in Lexington. The Commodores are 25-19-2 in Nashville all time against the Wildcats.
Kentucky is coached by Mark Stoops. Kentucky has home wins over Miami-Ohio 41-7 and Alabama State 48-14. The Wildcats have losses to Western Kentucky in Nashville 35-26, along with home losses against Louisville 27-13, Florida 24-7, Alabama 48-7, and last week against Missouri 48-17. Kentucky has road losses at South Carolina 35-28, and Mississippi State 28-22. The Wildcats are 4-5 ATS and the total is 4-5. Kentucky was a 14 point underdog at home against Missouri and the total was 55.
Kentucky took an early 3-0 lead against Missouri but the Tigers scored 28 straight points to close out the first half. The Wildcats would pull to within 35-17 by the end of the third quarter. Missouri scored 13 fourth quarter points to make the final 48-17. Missouri had 426 total yards including 223 rushing yards. Kentucky had 369 total yards including 235 passing yards. The Tigers had two turnovers and the Wildcats had one.
Kentucky is being outscored 30-23 this season. The Wildcats are #94 in points scored and #82 in points allowed nationally out of 125 teams. Kentucky is averaging 358.9 total yards including 199.8 passing and 159.1 rushing yards. Kentucky is #100 in total offense and #93 in passing nationally. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 421.6 yards per game including 221.1 passing and 200.4 rushing yards per game. The pass defense is #43 in the country but the rush defense is #101. Kentucky is +4 in turnovers with 11 takeaways. The Wildcats are averaging 46 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 48. Kentucky is 52/146 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 63/133. The Wildcats have forced 18 sacks and allowed 27 this season. Kentucky is 24/29 scoring in the red zone with 16 touchdowns and opponents are 30/36 with 25 touchdowns. The Wildcats have allowed one defensive touchdown this season.
Kentucky has used two quarterbacks this season. Jalen Whitlow has completed 64.6% of his passes for 915 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception. Whitlow also has 87 carries for 395 yards and 6 touchdowns. Maxwell Smith has completed 54.3% of his passes for 873 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Whitlow has taken all but 3 snaps in the last two games.
Running back Jojo Kemp has 80 carries for 435 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 4 catches. Raymond Sanders has 92 carries, 404 yards with 3 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 135 yards. Receiver Javess Blue has 31 catches for 407 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ryan Timmons has 27 catches for 295 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jeff Badet has 13 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown. Demarco Robinson has 16 catches for 164 yards with 2 touchdowns. Alexander Montgomery has 16 catches, 137 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he is out for the season with a knee injury.
Vanderbilt is coached by James Franklin. The Commodores have home wins over Austin Peay 38-3, UAB 52-24, and Georgia 31-27, along with road wins at Massachusetts 24-7, and last week at Florida 34-17. Vanderbilt has home losses to Ole Miss 39-35 and Missouri 51-28, along with road losses at South Carolina 35-25 and Texas A&M 51-28. The Commodores are 4-5 ATS and the total is 6-3 this season. Vanderbilt was a 12 point point underdog at Florida and the total was 41.
Vanderbilt took a 17-0 early lead against Florida last week. The Gators would kick a field goal before halftime to make it 17-3. The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 24-10. The Commodores would go on to win 34-17. It was Vanderbilt’s first road win at Florida since 1945. The Commodores won by 17 points despite having only 183 total yards and 12 first downs. Florida had 344 total yards including 305 passing yards. Vanderbilt overcame 8 penalties for 57 yards. You might wonder how the Commodores won this game, until you see Florida had 4 turnovers and 11 penalties for 84 yards.
Vanderbilt is outscoring teams 32-29. The Commodores are averaging 377.7 yards per game including 237.9 passing and 139.8 rushing yards. Vanderbilt is #89 in total offense and #93 in rushing offense. On defense, the Commodores are allowing 384.8 total yards including 236 passing and 148.8 rushing yards. Vanderbilt is +5 in turnovers with 19 takeaways. The Commodores average 39 penalty yards per game and opponents average 45. Vanderbilt is 58/137 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 64/144. The Commodores have forced 20 sacks and allowed 28 this season. Vanderbilt is 36/40 scoring in the red zone with 30 touchdowns, and opponents are 32/35 with 23 touchdowns. The Commodores have allowed 2 pick sixes this season.
Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels is doubtful with a knee injury after missing the last two games. He has completed 65.5% of his passes for 1,672 yards with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 57 carries for 98 yards and 5 touchdowns. Patton Robinette has started the last two games. He has thrown for 421 yards with a touchdown and 3 interceptions, along with 36 carries for 90 yards and 4 touchdowns. Another back-up quarterback Johnny McCrary is questionable with a knee injury but hasn’t taken a snap this season.
Running back Jerron Seymour has 118 carries for 541 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 111 yards. Wesley Tate has 69 carries, 284 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Brian Kimbrow has 43 carries, 195 yards and a touchdown, along with a catch. Fullback Fitz Lassing doesn’t have a carry, but does have a receiving touchdown. He is probable for undisclosed reasons.
Receiver Jordan Matthews has 71 catches for 935 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 19 rushing yards. Jonathan Krause has 32 catches, 608 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 11 rushing yards. He is questionable with a leg injury. Jordan Cunningham has 12 catches for 103 yards. Little used tight end Dillon van der Wal is questionable with a leg injury.
Kentucky is 4-0 ATS after allowing 40 points or more, 8-1 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 4-1 after failing to cover, 5-2 after a straight up loss, 6-13 overall, 4-13 in road games, 3-10 in SEC games, and 0-5 on fieldturf,
Vanderbilt is 6-0 ATS in November, and after allowing 20 points or less, 8-2 after a straight up win, 4-1 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, and against teams with losing road records, 5-2 against teams with losing records, 14-6 at home, 6-14-1 after allowing 280 passing yards or less, and 2-7 after gaining less than 275 yards. The favorite has covered the last four games in the Vanderbilt-Kentucky series.
Even without Carta-Samuels, Vanderbilt should have enough at home to beat a bad Kentucky team. The Wildcats have played some close games against South Carolina and Mississippi State and this could be the same. Neither one of these offenses are that great, so this could be a low scoring game.