– Vanderbilt hits the road for a matchup with No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT in Lexington. The game will be televised on SEC Network.
On Tuesday, Commodores head coach Derek Mason
met the media to preview the game vs. the Wildcats. He was joined by wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb
and defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo
Here's what the Dores had to say:
Mason began by praising Kentucky's defense under head coach Mark Stoops. "They're playing with a lot of confidence. You look at where they are defensively, [Mike] Edwards at safety, one of the best safeties in the conference. Josh Allen is one of the best pass-rushers in the country."
Mason compared Kentucky running back Benny Snell to former Georgia star Nick Chubb. "It's always a combination of size, balance and speed. You look at backs who are built like that and run the way he runs, it's hard to bring him down."
How many dropped passes did Mason see on the Florida film? "Five, six, somewhere in there. When you look at them, most of them were critical third downs."
Mason said senior linebacker Jordan Griffin
, who had a career-high 18 tackles vs. Florida, just has a nose for the football. "His football IQ is really high. If you get him in a room and talk to him, JG is probably the smartest defensive player we have."
Saturday marks the first of three straight SEC road games for Vanderbilt, but Mason said he does not worry about his team performing on the road. "It's not really about the venue. It's about the opponent."
Mason said senior linebacker Charles Wright
will miss another game while nursing a leg injury. "Charles had a little bit of a setback. Generally, I don't talk about injures, but for Charles, it's been an ongoing process of getting that leg healed."
Mason said he does not lack confidence in his team as it looks to bounce back vs. Kentucky. "The toughest thing we're tasked with right now is that we're so close, and when you're close sometimes, with the things that are happening to you, you say, you've got to stay the course."
Lipscomb said the Dores are prepared for another SEC road matchup. "It's always tough, going on the road and trying to steal a W in someone else's house. Coach Mason always tells us we've got to pack our defense and take the offense on the road to score points."
Odeyingbo said Snell is an electric running back, one that is difficult to defend. "He has great balance, great vision. He can really hurt you if you leave the smallest crease open."
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.