Coach Speak: I like Derek Mason. I think he’s a brilliant defensive mind with the impossible task of replacing James Franklin. In coaching replacement scenarios, the second in succession normally succeeds at a higher level than the man replacing THE MAN.
Team strengths: The Dores have 18 returning starters. Defense appears to be the best side of the football. Vanderbilt LB’s are formidable and arguably the third or fourth best group in the SEC only behind Georgia, Auburn, and Alabama.
Team weaknesses: 2014’s revolving quarterback door continues to spin. After an abysmal first year, Coach Mason’s chances of succeeding will diminish with every loss. Confidence and morale has to be considered.
Offensive personnel to watch: RB Ralph Webb, TE Steven Scheu
Defensive personnel to watch: LB Nigel Bowden, LB Stephen Weatherly, and LB Derreon Herring
How Vanderbilt beats Kentucky: Kentucky turnovers and a Nashville collapse. These two played a close game last year. But that was more UK’s doing than its visiting opponents. Vandy LB’s are very good. If that group shuts down the UK running game and Towles is not on, well…….
How Kentucky beats Vanderbilt: If its trip to the Music City is approached in a mature manner, I don’t see Kentucky losing.