Cats set to kick off second half of season against Vanderbilt


By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
The Wildcats (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) returned from a bye week and dropped a disappointing 45-7 setback to Mississippi State. The blowout was a sign of things to come for Kentucky, which lost its last three games of the season despite a promising start. In its last outing nearly two weeks ago, Kentucky, No. 14 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, couldn’t get over the proverbial hump in a 20-14 overtime loss to Texas A&M. The Wildcats struggled offensively and quarterback Terry Wilson wasn’t at his best. “I’m hard on myself,” Wilson said. “I know the expectations I have to bring that some with this position. If I mess up, I’m already on myself before anybody else can get on me.” Stoops said the bye week gave the Wildcats a chance to get over the loss and Wilson time to get back on track.

Kentucky’s defensive unit has been solid through the first six games but will likely be challenged by Vanderbilt running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. “He is extremely fast,” Stoops said. “He is a guy that, he is just a good player. He really is. He is really fast and explosive, talked to a few people who have played him and they say that as fast as he looks on film he is faster in person. So, that means that definitely, you can you feel him on the field. We are going to play team defense. We are going to play the way we always play. He is a very good player. We have great respect for him. We are going to do what we do.”

In addition to getting a head start on Vanderbilt last week, Stoops and his staff looked back on the first six contests to get an idea of how to perform better during the next six weeks.
“We did a good amount of self-scout, and then we did very, very slight implementation of some new things,” he said. “We do have an array of things that we could possibly build into the future of this season. But, it is hard to just put … you can’t do that to your kids. You have put them in a position where they are comfortable and playing fast. So, there are always new wrinkles, but we can’t put it all on them at once.”Like his coach, Wilson is looking forward to the second half of the season.