Vanderbilt football visits Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington. Here are your three keys to a Commodore victory.
By Don Yates
1. Limit turnovers
Turnovers happen to every team. However, they have to keep those to a minimum. Last weekend at Mississipi State did well on both sides of the ball but turned the ball over way too much. The Commodores threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles. That’s just way too many turnovers to have a chance to win. Four would have been bad too but the Commodores still might have been able pull out the victory without the fifth turnover.
2. Stop the run
Kentucky prefers to run and if you let them they will run until the cows come home. Right now the Cats are averaging 4 1/2 yards a rush. Do the math and you’ll see that’s a problem. The ‘Dores can’t afford to be giving up six or seven yards on first down. If that happens the defense will be on the field 3/4ths of the game and the Vandy defenders will be exhausted by halftime. The Commodores have to be able to win in the trenches and prevent Kentucky success running the ball.
3. Score a TD in the first quarter
The Commodores still have not been able to score a touchdown in the first quarter this season. Vandy has managed a total of three points in first quarters of the five games the team has played this season. Meanwhile, opponents have piled up 52 points in the first. That looks bad on the coaching staff and offensive players. If you are just getting nothing all season in a certain quarter you are asking for a winless season. I think what happens is the team tries to establish the middle runs. They waste about a quarter of game time trying to get that going. By the time they figure out and switch to other schemes, a quarter of the game is over.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 11 AM CT (Noon ET). Watch this Vanderbilt football game on the SEC network.