John Clay

Kentucky and Vanderbilt football programs are mirror images

Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur (14) hands off to running back Ralph Webb (7) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Florida beat the Commodores 13-6.
Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur (14) hands off to running back Ralph Webb (7) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Florida beat the Commodores 13-6. Associated Press

Before the start of every football season, Kentucky fans study the upcoming schedule and mark Vanderbilt as a game in which the Cats should win.

Before the start of every football season, Vanderbilt fans study the upcoming schedule and mark Kentucky as a game in which the Commodores should win.

If Kentucky has any chance of reaching a bowl game in 2016, the Cats have to beat visiting Vanderbilt this Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

If Vanderbilt has any chance of reaching a bowl game in 2016, the Commodores have to beat host Kentucky this Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

Kentucky is 2-3 on the season after a 34-6 loss to Alabama last Saturday.

Vanderbilt is 2-3 on the season after a 13-6 loss to Florida last Saturday.

Since 2007, including this season, Kentucky is 49-68.

Since 2007, including this season, Vanderbilt is 49-68.

Kentucky is coached by Mark Stoops, who made his name — OK, he already had a famous last name, but you get the point — as a defensive coordinator at Florida State, but has struggled in his first foray as a head coach. Stoops’ record at UK is 14-27.

Vanderbilt is coached by Derek Mason, who made his name as a defensive coordinator at Stanford, but has struggled in his first foray as a head coach. Mason’s record at Vanderbilt is 9-20.

Stoops’ record in the SEC is 5-22 for a winning percentage of 18.5 percent.

Mason’s record in the SEC is 2-16 for a winning percentage of 11.1 percent.

One of Stoops’ five conference wins came over Mason when UK beat the Commodores 17-7 in 2014 in Lexington.

One of Mason’s two conference wins came over Stoops when Vandy beat the Cats 21-17 last season in Nashville.

Kentucky is trying to return to the days of former coach Rich Brooks, who led UK to four consecutive bowl games before retiring after the 2009 season.

Vanderbilt is trying to return to the days of former coach James Franklin, who led Vandy to three consecutive bowl games before leaving for Penn State following the 2013 season.

Kentucky is led by running back Boom Williams, who is fifth in the SEC in rushing with 486 yards.

Vanderbilt is led by running back Ralph Webb, who leads the SEC in rushing with 582 yards.

Kentucky’s defense is led by linebacker Jordan Jones, who is second in the SEC in tackles with 51.

Vanderbilt’s defense is led by linebacker Zach Cunningham, who is first in the SEC in tackles with 52.

Kentucky’s quarterback Saturday will be former backup Stephen Johnson, pressed into duties when Drew Barker was lost for a “significant period” because of a back injury.

Vanderbilt’s quarterback Saturday could be a backup after starter Kyle Shurmur left last Saturday’s Florida game with less than five minutes to go after taking a big hit.

Kentucky ranks 108th out of 128 FBS teams in total defense, allowing an average of 468 yards per game.

Vanderbilt ranks 123rd out of 128 FBS teams in total offense, gaining an average of 303 yards per game.

Earlier this year, Kentucky was tied with visiting South Carolina 10-10 in the fourth quarter before scoring a touchdown for a 17-10 win.

Earlier this year, Vanderbilt was tied with visiting South Carolina 10-10 in the fourth quarter before missing a 44-yard field goal with 3:44 left. South Carolina kicked a 55-yard field goal with 35 seconds left to win 13-10.

Kentucky had one player taken in the 2016 NFL Draft — linebacker Josh Forrest, picked in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Rams.

Vanderbilt had one player taken in the 2016 NFL Draft — linebacker Stephen Weatherly, picked in the seventh round by the Minnesota Vikings.

In the history of the series, Kentucky has beaten Vanderbilt 42 times.

In the history of the series, Vanderbilt has beaten Kentucky 42 times.

There have been four ties.

Last 10 Kentucky-Vanderbilt football games

Date

Site

UK

Van

Dec

11/11/06

Lexington

38

26

W

11/10/07

Nashville

27

20

W

11/15/08

Lexington

24

31

L

11/14/09

Nashville

24

13

W

11/13/10

Lexington

38

20

W

11/12/11

Nashville

8

38

L

11/3/12

Lexington

0

40

L

11/16/13

Nashville

6

22

L

9/27/14

Lexington

17

7

W

11/14/15

Nashville

17

21

L

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