Mark Story

First Scouting Report: Can Kentucky extend its hold over Vanderbilt?

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Game day: Kentucky vs. Tennessee

Click below for more of’s coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky-Tennessee football game at Kroger Field in Lexington.

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An early look ahead to the Kentucky Wildcats’ next football game:

The opponent

Kentucky (4-5, 2-5 SEC) will travel to Nashville for its final road game of 2019 to face Vanderbilt (2-7, 1-5 SEC) on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. (EST) at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Coach Derek Mason’s Commodores were clubbed 56-0 by No. 10 Florida on Saturday at The Swamp.

Most recent meeting

In a 7-7 game in the fourth quarter, Kentucky’s Quinton Bohanna forced and recovered a Vanderbilt fumble near the UK 20-yard line. Wildcats star running back Benny Snell took it from there, running 10 times for 74 yards on the ensuing drive, which ended with a 7-yard scoring run by Snell.

The result was a hard-fought 14-7 victory for the No. 14 Wildcats over Vandy on Oct. 20, 2018, at Kroger Field.

Series history

Kentucky leads the all-time series 45-42-4 and has won three in a row and four of the past five meetings.

Know your foe

1. In three years under James Franklin (2011-13), Vanderbilt went 3-0 vs. Kentucky and outscored the Wildcats 100-14. Since Franklin exited for Penn State, UK is 4-1 against Vandy, though two of the four Wildcats wins were each decided by seven points.

2. Like Kentucky, Vanderbilt has used three different starting quarterbacks in 2019. Riley Neal, a graduate transfer from Ball State, started the first six games. Mo Hasan, a junior-college transfer, started against Missouri, but was knocked from the game due to a concussion. Neal returned to start against South Carolina, but he, also, was lost to a concussion.

With both Neal and Hasan in concussion protocol, Deuce Wallace, a redshirt junior, made his first career start at Florida. He completed seven of 18 passes for 60 yards with an interception and was sacked six times.

Ke'Shawn Vaughn
Vanderbilt running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn (5) entered play against Florida on Saturday as the SEC’s fourth-leading rusher with 790 yards and six touchdowns. DONN RODENROTH The Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)

3. Vanderbilt’s most dangerous weapon is running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. A transfer from Illinois, Vaughn entered Saturday’s play as the SEC’s fourth-leading rusher (790 yards, a 5.2 yards per carry average with six touchdowns). The 5-foot-10, 218-pound Nashville product is also dangerous as a receiver with 23 catches for 234 yards and one TD.

Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.