By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s loss at Vanderbilt last season infuriated fans and cost Kentucky a likely bowl bid. It could have been the low point of the Mark Stoops’ era, even below this year’s loss to Southern Mississippi.
“Does last year’s Vanderbilt game hurt? Absolutely. It bothers me and will probably bother me the rest of my life. But this is a total new year,” Stoops said.
It is and UK hosts Vanderbilt Saturday with a chance to even its record at 3-3. But that loss should bother him because UK looked both unprepared and uninspired.
Saturday the Cats have to stop running back Ralph Webb, Vandy’s only consistent offensive threat.
“He’s a very good player. Very good vision, strong, breaks tackles, so he’s a complete back,” Stoops said.
Vanderbilt’s defense fared much better last week against Florida — which was without the same starting quarterback it had when it routed UK due to injury.
“They played really hard. They do a good job. Florida missed some opportunities and was playing with a backup quarterback, but Vandy will do that (to a team). They’ve got some very big guys in the front of their defense,” Stoops said.
“What sticks out to you, too, when you think about Vandy on defense is how mature they are. I believe they have five fifth-year seniors starting and five fourth-year juniors starting and two juniors so that’s a pretty veteran group. The two big boys inside are big guys with some experience.”