Three key questions
1. Can UK avoid the post-closer-than-expected-loss letdown? The Wildcats may have lost, but their performance in taking Florida to triple overtime in The Swamp generated positive buzz. Now, the Wildcats find themselves favored by more than two touchdowns against a Vanderbilt program that has beaten UK three years in a row. In the past, Kentucky has had a distressing tendency to come back from closer-than-expected losses with letdown games. If that does NOT happen here, it shows Mark Stoops really is changing the culture of UK football.
2. Can Kentucky impose its will early? Vanderbilt has not started the season well. It has a brand new coach. It could be starting a true freshman quarterback. This will be the Commodores' first road game of 2014. A Kentucky sprint from the gates could rattle a VU team with only 10 starters back from 2013.
3. Will the fans come back? Seeing Commonwealth Stadium nowhere close to full for games with UT-Martin (announced crowd of 50,398) and Ohio (51,910) was the continuation of a trend. Due to on-going renovations, Commonwealth's capacity is now 62,093. In its last 20 home games, UK has drawn more than 62,093 only twice. Kentucky athletics officials have all but begged Wildcats backers to turn out for the Vandy game. UK even sold a bloc of $20 tickets for the game. Are some cheap seats and the hope generated by a close loss at Florida enough to fill Commonwealth?
Is more optimistic than it's been since Randall Cobb's days. UK's young playmakers electrified The Swamp and created a positive buzz for Wildcats football. Against a Vanderbilt squad that has looked eminently beatable so far in 2014, Kentucky has a prime opportunity to end its 17-game SEC losing skid.