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Kentucky football vs. Vanderbilt: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Wildcats battle Commodores

Gunnar Hoak #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Commonwealth Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Gunnar Hoak #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Commonwealth Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The season is only half over but the offensive line of No. 17 Kentucky, which returns Saturday in an SEC contest against visiting Vanderbilt after a week off, is already being recognized for its play. Bunchy Stallings and the rest of the unit have paved the way for one of the top rushing attacks in the nation for the Wildcats, who have won two straight over the Commodores.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Kentucky -11.5

 

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Stallings was named to the ESPN midseason All-America team along with teammate Josh Allen, a linebacker, and the line as a whole, which includes George Asafo-Adjei, Logan Stenberg, Drake Jackson and E.J. Price, was selected to the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, which recognizes the Most Outstanding Offensive Line in the nation. "Bunchy kind of anchors that group and shows his versatility jumping in and playing so well at center," coach Mark Stoops told the media. "He's extremely athletic and has been a great leader." The Commodores and senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur have lost two straight and four out of their last five games, including three defeats to ranked teams, and now face the first of three straight road games. Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt's leading rusher, is expected to play after leaving last week's 37-27 loss to No. 12 Florida with an unspecified injury.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (3-4, 0-3 SEC)

After being held in check by No. 6 Georgia and Florida, wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb will try to make his mark against Kentucky's smothering pass defense. The junior, who posted four straight games with at least nine catches prior to being held to six receptions for 80 yards in the last two games, ranks second in the SEC in receptions (49), tied for second in receiving touchdowns (six) and fourth in receiving yards (560). Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who has averaged eight yards per carry or better in each of the last three games, leads the rushing attack with 495 yards and five TDs, and recorded his first career receiving TD -- a 75-yarder -- last week.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (5-1, 3-1)

The run game, led by junior Benny Snell, Jr., ranks 26th nationally with 223.5 yards per game even after being limited to 70 yards and 2.3 yards per carry against Texas A&M on Oct. 6. Snell needs 713 yards to become Kentucky's all-time leading rusher, but may be hard-pressed to get them as teams force sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson to beat them. In addition to throwing for a paltry 108 yards on 13 completions, Wilson was held in check in the run game as the Aggies handed the Wildcats their first defeat.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Allen is tied for 10th in the nation in sacks (six) and 11th in tackles for loss (1.8 per game) while senior S Darius West is tied for ninth in the country with three interceptions for Kentucky.

2. The Commodores are 2-9 in their last 11 games against ranked teams with wins over No. 24 Tennessee in 2016 and No. 18 Kansas State in 2017. 

3. The Wildcats are 14-6 in their last 20 regular-season games, their best mark since producing the same record from 1984 to 1985.

PREDICTION: Kentucky 24, Vanderbilt 13

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