Kentucky Wildcats (1-2) at Tennessee Volunteers (2-1)
- Game Time: 12:00 pm EST on October 17th, 2020
- Location: Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee
- TV Channel: Today’s game can be seen on the SEC Network.
- Announcers: Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers and Cole Cubelic will call the action.
- Online Stream: WatchESPN and fuboTV
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
- Radio: As always, Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro will have the UK radio network call on 630 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
- Online Radio: Westwood One will also be calling the action for this game.
- Odds: Tennessee opened as a 7-point favorite. The line has dropped to 6.5 as of Saturday morning. ESPN FPI gives the Wildcats just a 35.4% chance of winning.
- Rosters: UK | UT
- Weather: Sunny and 55 degrees with no chance of rain (via Covers).
- Prediction: TeamRankings projects a 27-20 victory for Tennessee, while numberFire went with a 24-19 Vols win.
While we wait for kickoff, get fired up for the big game with the latest HYPE video from Kentucky Wildcats TV:
For folks like me from southeastern Kentucky, the rivalry with Tennessee is just as, if not more important than the rivalry with Louisville.
With only three victories in my lifetime, Kentucky football is finally to the point where a victory is on the table every season.
Does it always happen? Obviously not. But this is certainly a year when Kentucky could knock off the Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time since 1984.
While the season started with Tennessee rolling into a 2-0 start and Kentucky blowing two winnable games, the teams are carrying very different levels of momentum into this week’s game. Kentucky is coming off of a 24-2 victory, having held an air raid offense to a goose egg on the offensive end.
Tennessee, on the other hand, led Georgia at the half only to be held to 71 yards and five turnovers in the second half to fall 44-21.
The offense from neither team should be proud of their week three performance, but both have some decisions to make moving forward. Despite having absolutely no time to throw the ball, Tennessee fans are calling for Jarrett Guarantano to be bench. And during a scrimmage on Sunday for underclassmen, Harrison Bailey took 100% of the snaps.
Pruitt on the Sunday scrimmage: Jeremy Pruitt on Sunday scrimmage: I think we took 49 snaps, and Harrison (Bailey) took every one of them. In fall camp, he didn’t get a lot of live action. It was good for him, good for a lot of players.— More Important Issues (@More_Issues) October 12, 2020
Against Kentucky the last three seasons, Guarantano has looked like an All-American. In those three games he is 37-of-51 for 554 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. I highly doubt that we see him get the hook on Saturday, but that does not mean Volunteer fans are fully behind their quarterback.
Kentucky does not have a quarterback controversy, per se. Terry Wilson put up solid numbers in his first two games despite making some costly mistakes in the opener against Auburn. He has been “the guy” for Mark Stoops since he took over the reigns two seasons ago. And Stoops is known for being a loyal guy.
However, with Joey Gatewood now having eligibility and looking good in limited play against Mississippi State, does there not have to be some curiosity about what he would look like leading this offense? The Wildcats only put up 157 yards on Saturday, and Wilson was not effective at putting his receivers in positions to make plays. Without the defense owning the game on Saturday, Kentucky’s offensive woes could have certainly cost them their first win of the season.
I could continue to break down the rosters here for you. Both have good offensive lines and running backs. Quarterbacks for both teams are somewhat suspect. The defenses seem legit at times, but have given up lots of points in spurts.
But the reality is that almost all of this can be thrown out the window when Kentucky takes on Tennessee. The Wildcats have only two victories in this series in the last 36 years, and have had the better roster in several recent match-ups. Strength on strength, strength on weakness, superstars or no superstars, this game is always about history.
Can the Wildcats get over the “curse” that they have endured for 36 years in Knoxville? We will find out at noon on Saturday.