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GAMETHREAD: Kentucky vs. Tennessee

A Border War on Halloween seems scarily appropriate this season.

Congrats to Boom for being picked as the Freak of The Week!
Congrats to Boom for being picked as the Freak of The Week!
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Confession: at the beginning of the season, I picked this game as a W for the Cats. After watching UT give away multiple games in the fourth quarter, I became quite confident. WE HAVE THIS!

Then the Vols beat Georgia (granted, a Nick Chubbless-UGA, but it still counts) and played a great game against Alabama and well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't incredibly nervous about today's outcome.

Reasons to feel hopeful we'll pull off the W (with an actual quarterback playing!):

  • Tennessee is ranked as the 2nd worst defense in the conference, and have the third worst tackling performance thus far this season. (Kentucky is listed as #5 in tackles.) They're in the middle of the pack on sacks, and are tied with UK and Arkansas for the 2nd worst job on interceptions.
  • UT is DEAD LAST in FG% with just 52.9%. Kentucky is #2 at 84.6%. (Thank you, Austin MacGinnis!) Not only that, Kentucky is good at distance field goals, having scored 4 from 40-49 yards out, where again we are the second best in conference. Good to know we have options in case their defense has a good night.
  • For all I've heard about Josh Dobbs, these two teams are neck and neck in passing completion, with UK at 60.71% and UT at 58.62%. UK also has the lead in average passing yards per game, at 253 vs 207.
  • I don't care what the talking heads say, playing at home in front of a packed house is worth at least a TD. And on Halloween? Watch out. (And not just for children arriving at your house demanding candy in the MIDDLE OF A FOOTBALL GAME, like I'm going to have to deal with here in Wisconsin.)

Conventional wisdom, talking heads, Vegas and the bingo ladies at Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows have UK falling by anywhere from 7-14 points. Despite my afore-mentioned "nervous in the service" emotions, I'm going to say UK by 3.

Let's do this, Cats!