Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
How to watch online: WatchESPN
Odds: Kentucky opened as a two-point favorite over Vanderbilt. The line bumped up to 3/3.5 points in their favor later on.
The Kentucky Wildcats and Vanderbilt Commodores will both take their 2-3 records into their Saturday afternoon matchup in Lexington in this upcoming SEC East encounter. The ‘Dores and ‘Cats haven’t gotten off to the most splendid of starts this year but each will have an opportunity to hit the .500 mark with a victory.
Here’s what to watch for:
1. A matchup of porous defenses: Both the Commodores and Wildcats have been leaky on the defensive side of the ball to say the least. They are giving up more than 400 total yards per game, with the Wildcats allowing 468 yards per game. The ‘Cats are also allowing 35 points per game while the ‘Dores are allowing 23.6. Neither offense has been able to get off on the right foot this year so this may give them a confidence boost. On the other hand, it could turn out to be a confidence boost for the defense if the anemic offensive units fail to get it going.
2. A premier matchup of running backs: If nothing else, Ralph Webb and Stanley ‘Boom’ Williams will be able to bring some excitement to the game. Webb is currently the SEC’s leading rusher with 582 yards amassed over the first five games of the season while Williams has picked up 486, good for fifth in the country. ‘Boom’ has arguably been more impressive though, as his yards per carry is a stout 7.3 while Webb’s is chalked up at merely 4.9. Whichever team’s running back gets their team out in front may be able to control the tempo and, in turn, win the game.
3. Kentucky’s pass rushers: Denzil Ware and Josh Allen have been able to get to the quarterback with relative ease in 2016. Ware and Allen have combined for six sacks on the year -- each with three apiece -- and have been one of the few bright spots on the aforementioned porous Kentucky defense. The Wildcats’ pass rushers will have to be fearsome again on Saturday and wreak havoc on Kyle Shurmur if they want to pick up the victory.