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)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With a winning season still in the offing, Kentucky heads to Vanderbilt on Saturday for a critical SEC showdown. The Wildcats need to win their final three games to finish with a winning record and two of three to make a fourth straight bowl game and a good place to start would be beating the Commodores to avoid a last-place finish in the SEC East Division.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Kentucky -10.5

Mark Stoops' team seemed well on their way to a rare win over Tennessee last week when it led 13-0 after one quarter, but despite rushing for 302 yards, the Wildcats fell 17-13. The history against Vanderbilt has been much kinder, including victories in three straight games and four of the last five meetings, and the Commodores are at the bottom of the SEC and the country in terms of rushing defense (196.7 yards per game). "You better concentrate on yourself and get ready to play, because you expect a very hard fought game from them," Stoops told the media. "I think they shocked everybody a few weeks back when Missouri was rolling and Vandy goes in there and plays exceptionally well." Senior Ke'Shawn Vaughn is on pace for his second straight 1,000-yard season on the ground and still has a chance to reach double-digit rushing touchdowns after reaching paydirt 12 times on the ground last season.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (4-5, 2-5 SEC)

The Lynn Bowden, Jr. show continues to roll on for the Wildcats as the junior receiver turned quarterback posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season in the loss to Tennessee. The junior from Youngstown, Ohio, who is the only player in the FBS this season to lead his team in receiving and rushing, has amassed 613 rushing yards on 88 carries over the last four games. The Wildcats, who are 18-27-2 in Nashville - including losses in three of the last four games there, have scaled back the passing attack as Bowden has attempted 14 throws over the last two contests.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (2-7, 1-5)

Derek Mason’s quarterback situation is only slightly better than the one Kentucky is dealing with as the sixth-year coach has used four signal callers with mixed results. Senior Riley Neal has attempted the most passes and thrown the most touchdowns (six) and is set to return after missing last week’s game against Florida with a concussion. Kalija Lipscomb is Vanderbilt’s top receiver as the senior ranks fifth in school history in career receptions (184) and sixth in career receiving yards (2,226) and is three touchdown catches shy of tying the school record of 24 held by Jordan Matthews.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Max Duffy, Kentucky's all-time leading punter (46.3 yards per kick), ranks second in the FBS at 48.6 yards per boot this season.

2. Bowden ranks tenth in school history in all-purpose yards (3,884) and fifth with the most yards prior to one's senior season.

3. Since the start of last season, Vaughn has 18 rushes covering 30 or more yards and seven touchdowns of 60 or more.

PREDICTION: Kentucky 31, Vanderbilt 20

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