The Kentucky Wildcats visit skidding Vanderbilt looking to stay undefeated

Kentucky is looking to avenge last year’s 24-22 home loss to Vanderbilt
Kentucky wide receiver Anthony Brown-Stephens (5) and running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye (0)...
Kentucky wide receiver Anthony Brown-Stephens (5) and running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye (0) celebrate in the end zone after a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Akron in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Haas Hutchins)(Michelle Haas Hutchins | AP)
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:30 PM EDT
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(AP) - Kentucky (3-0, 0-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-0), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

Line: Kentucky by 13 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series: Kentucky leads 48-43-4.


This is the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams with Kentucky on the road after three non-conference home games. Kentucky is looking to avenge last year’s 24-22 home loss to Vanderbilt. That win by the Commodores snapped a 26-game SEC skid for Vanderbilt and a six-game skid to Kentucky. Now Vanderbilt comes in trying to snap a skid after losing back-to-back road games.


Kentucky’s receivers vs. Vanderbilt’s banged-up secondary. The Wildcats feature explosive receivers in Tayvion Robinson (260 yards, three TDs), Dane Key (138, one) and Barion Brown (109, one). Two other players have at least 100 yards receiving. Vanderbilt ranks second in the SEC with five interceptions. But S De’Rickey Wright is questionable because of an ankle injury. S Jaylen Mahoney was knocked out of Vanderbilt’s loss at UNLV with an injured hip, and S Savion Riley missed that game with an upper body injury.


Kentucky RB Ray Davis transferred from Vanderbilt after rushing for 1,042 yards last season, including 129 yards and a touchdown to help beat the Wildcats last November. He leads the Wildcats with 240 yards rushing with three TDs on 33 carries. Davis showed his receiving skills in last week’s 35-3 blowout of Akron with a 39-yard pass reception on the game’s first snap and added a 58-yard catch-and-run TD in the third quarter.

Vanderbilt quarterback AJ Swann leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the FBS throwing for 1,062 yards and 11 TDs. He has thrown for three or more TDs four times in his first 10 starts. He also is averaging 13.97 yards per completion, third-best in the SEC.


The Wildcats received 10 votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll. ... Brown ranks third nationally in kickoff returns with a 38.2-yard average, including a 99-yard return for a TD against Ball State. ... Vanderbilt has piled up at least 420 yards of total offense in three straight games for the first time since at least 1996. ... Will Sheppard is Vanderbilt’s first player since at least 1996 with three consecutive games with two or more TD catches and fifth in the SEC with three straight such games in the same season. Sheppard is tied for most TD catches in FBS with six and his 36 points lead the Power Five conferences. ... Vanderbilt freshman WR London Humphreys leads all SEC freshman and is second nationally with 266 yards receiving on nine catches. He is averaging 29.6 yards a reception and has three TDs.