By LARRY VAUGHT
Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo knows plenty about Kentucky running back Benny Snell, the SEC’s second leading rusher going into Saturday night’s game at Kroger Field.
He 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,” Odeyingbo said.
Count Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason as a Snell fan, too. He compared the UK junior to former Georgia star Nick Chubb.
“It’s always a combination of size, balance and speed,” Mason said. “You look at backs who are built like that and run the way he runs, it’s hard to bring him down.”
Vanderbilt receiver Kalija Lipscomb knows it won’t be easy playing at Kentucky. The Cats are 5-1 and have home wins over South Carolina and Mississippi State.
“It’s always tough, going on the road and trying to steal a W in someone else’s house,” Lipscomb said.
Kentucky’s defense has been not just one of the best in the SEC, but ranks among the best in the nation in scoring defense and rushing yards.
“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 said.
This will be the first of three straight SEC road games for Vandy, but that doesn’t worry Mason.
“It’s not really about the venue. It’s about the opponent,” Mason said. “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.”