By Russell Lorentz, Vandy Insider
Vandy Game Preview
Vanderbilt Commodores (3-5) vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-3)
Line: Vanderbilt -11
When: Saturday, November 4th, 2017, 11 a.m., ESPNU
Site: Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN
Vandy looks to snap a five game losing streak, as the Commodores step outside the realm for a midseason clash with WKU. Vanderbilt looks for revenge as the ‘Dores look to rewrite the script of the 2015 contest which went the Hilltoppers way, 14-12.
Vandy needed a leaping effort from Ralph Webb last season in route to a bowl berth in overtime as the Commodores outlasted the Hilltoppers 31-30 in Bowling Green.
Western Kentucky’s high octane offense returns catalyst Quarterback Mike White along with former Ensworth High standout running back DeAndre Ferby in Head Coach Mike Sanford’s first season. Western Kentucky all-time great Taywan Taylor was a third round selection of the Tennessee Titans in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Vandy looks to regain momentum on the defensive side of the ball, after recapturing some swagger against the Gamecocks last week. The ‘Dores will have to be awake for an early morning kickoff.
Three of the final four games in 2017 are at the friendly confines of Vanderbilt Stadium, as Vandy looks to return to the postseason. Derek Mason’s defense looks to match up better with a speed in space offense like the Hilltoppers as Vanderbilt looks to fix their defensive woes.
With Webb and Khari Blasingame banged up, just how many snaps will both get? Look for the possibility of Jamauri Wakefield in the backfield as the Commodore receiving core presents a tough challenge for WKU, spreading out the Hilltopper defense.
Wakefield is a top-tier kick returner in the SEC, providing a jolt. After racking up 64 yards on 15 carries against Alabama A&M, Wakefield has been used sparingly in SEC play, but looks the part to contribute.
Impact Players: WKU
Senior Quarterback Mike White: 65.4%, 2,328 yds., 14 TD, 6 INT
Junior Running Back D’Andre Ferby: 54 car., 186 yds., 3 TD
Impact Players: Vanderbilt
Sophomore Wide Reciever Kalija Lipscomb: 23 rec., 397 yds., 6 TD
Junior Quarterback Kyle Shurmur: 54.9%, 1,664 yds., 20 TD (2 Rush) 3 INT
Senior Running Back Ralph Webb: 116 att., 439 yds., 5 TD
Senior Linebacker Oren Burks: 57 TKL, 1 INT, 3 PBU