Kentucky will travel to Tennessee this Saturday for a noon kickoff vs the Volunteers in Neyland Stadium this Saturday.
The Volunteers come in as a 12-point favorite after easily defeating Tennessee Tech 55-0 last week. Kentucky is looking to pick up their sixth win and become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. The Wildcats have not won at Neyland Stadium since 1984 and a win would ensure the ‘Cats have a winning record in the SEC for the first time since 1977.
The game does not look as daunting for the Wildcats as it did at the beginning of the season when Tennessee was considered the prohibitive favorite to win the SEC East, as well as a dark-horse contender to win the SEC and possibly sneak into the College Football Playoff.
The Vols’ season has not quite lived up to many people’s expectations. In the opening game, they barely escaped what would’ve been a monumental upset versus Appalachian State. Two weeks later, they struggled to put away the Ohio Bobcats.
After come-from-behind wins against Florida and Georgia, it seemed like Tennessee’s luck ran out when they dropped a double-overtime game against the Texas A&M Aggies. The Volunteers followed that up with a 49-10 blowout to Alabama in Knoxville, and an upset loss on the road at South Carolina.
The three consecutive losses caused a lot of disarray within the program, as running back Jalen Hurd announced he had decided to transfer and rumors of other players doing the same began to gain traction, though no other transfers were announced.
The Volunteers running game will now rely on Alvin Kamara (who had four carries for 70 yards against Kentucky last year) and John Kelly, who is averaging over seven yards per carry.
The Wildcats will also have to contain Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who accounted for four touchdowns in last year’s matchup including two passing touchdowns and two rushing. If the Wildcats are able to contain Dobbs, it will go a long way toward pulling the upset.
Other keys for a Wildcats victory include strong special teams play—Tennessee had two specials teams touchdowns last year— as well as slowing down the Vols’ star defensive end Derek Barnett, who has nine sacks on the season including three against South Carolina two weeks ago. Barnett has had two sacks against Kentucky each of the last two times the teams have faced off.
Winning in Knoxville would be no small task for the Wildcats, but it would be a season-defining victory if the ‘Cats can find a way to pull it off.
Here is everything you will need to watch, stream and listen to UK vs UT.
Where: Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. Capacity: 102,455
Game Time: Noon ET
TV: SEC Network
Announcers: Tom Hart, Andre Ware, and Cole Cubelic.
Weather: Game time temperatures are expected to be around 52 °F with a 1-percent chance of rain.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Tennessee is a two-touchdown favorite with a 14-point spread, according to OddsShark.
Make friends: Rocky Top Talk for Tennessee fans.