Kentucky Should Iron Vandy's Defense, Wildcats +3 the College Football Pick

David Lawrence

Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 1:27 PM GMT

The Kentucky Wildcats are trying to fight well enough to make a bowl, but they need a couple of wins in order to get there. Vanderbilt can’t go to a bowl game, check our college football pick here.

Momentum
Kentucky’s offense was lifeless in a 27-3 loss to Georgia. The Wildcats were going up against a Georgia team which had lost 27-3 the week before to Florida, so there was a belief in the locker room that it could pounce on an unsuspecting opponent. However, with the way Kentucky’s offense played, there was no cause for optimism. It’s back to the drawing board for an offense which must find a way to solve a legitimately strong Vanderbilt defense.

The Commodores didn’t play well on offense, but their defense was fantastic last Saturday at Florida, allowing only nine points and causing the Gators to lose a net of 18 yards in the third quarter. Vanderbilt won the battle up front and pushed back Florida’s offensive line. The Commodores also held firm in the secondary, not allowing any long pass plays to get behind them. It was a complete defensive performance, one coach Derek Mason – the former defensive coordinator at Stanford before joining Vanderbilt – should be pleased with. This is a game for the defenses.

 

Line Moves
Vanderbilt is listed as a three-point favorite but those college football odds are surprising. Bettors know that Kentucky’s offense is bad and Vanderbilt’s defense is good, but Vanderbilt’s offense is arguably worse than Kentucky’s. There must be a feeling that Kentucky will be held to only six or seven points, maybe only three.

 

Notable Injuries
Kentucky defensive tackle Melvin Lewis is out for the season with a fibula injury. Cornerback Darius West is questionable with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei is probable with a leg injury. Wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass left the team. Linebacker Nico Firios is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Kicker Austin MacGinnis is probable with a groin injury. Wide receiver Joey Herrick is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Running back Stanley Williams is probable with an elbow injury. Linebacker Kobie Walker is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

Vanderbilt has backup quarterback Kyle Shurmur listed as probable with a concussion. Linebacker Nigel Bowden is out for the season with a concussion. Offensive lineman Justin Skule is out for the season with an undisclosed condition. Tight end DeAndre Woods is out for the season with a knee injury.

 

Handicapping The Game
Opportunities are running out for the Wildcats but with a game against Charlotte – a first-year team in the Football Bowl Subdivision – looming in a week and a half, Kentucky knows that if it can beat Vanderbilt this week, it should be able to complete the job. This is a big chance for the Wildcats. They don’t care what bowl they go to; they just want to play in a bowl and get the extra practices that are part of bowl preparation.

The Kentucky offense is poor, but Vanderbilt’s is just as bad if not worse. Vanderbilt might be favored, but if you look at the Commodores this season, they couldn’t even beat South Carolina. Kentucky could. This still feels like the Wildcats’ game to lose. Take them with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Kentucky +3 at Bovada

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