Kentucky’s defense suddenly came to life last Saturday against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, with the Wildcats’ defensive backs recording more catches than the wide receivers. Despite the full optimism on that side of the ball, the stat just given presents a major concern for Kentucky’s offense.
Going on the road in the Southeastern Conference is no cake walk, no matter what opponent you’re facing. This weekend, Kentucky will travel to Knoxville where they’ll face the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers. While the Vols were shut out in the second by No. 3 Georgia half last week, and could be caught looking ahead to No. 2 Alabama next week, it’s going to be very challenging for Kentucky to land an upset in a place they haven’t won at since 1984.
According to Pregame.com, Tennessee opened as a 7-point favorite over Kentucky. The line has moved down to 6 in many sportsbooks with 69% of the tickets and 69% of the cash bet both on Tennessee. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Kentucky just a 34% chance of upset over the Volunteers.
- Kentucky is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 7 games.
- Kentucky is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games.
- Kentucky is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against Tennessee.
- Kentucky is 2-18 SU in their last 20 games against Tennessee.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Kentucky’s last 10 games on the road.
- Kentucky is 0-12 SU in their last 12 games when playing on the road against Tennessee.
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Kentucky’s last 10 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
- Kentucky is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in October.
- Kentucky is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games played on a Saturday.
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Tennessee’s last 8 games.
- Tennessee is 8-1 SU in their last 9 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 6 games against Kentucky.
- Tennessee is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home.
- Tennessee is 12-0 SU in their last 12 games when playing at home against Kentucky.
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Tennessee’s last 15 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
- Tennessee is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games played in October.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tennessee’s last 6 games played in week 7.
- Tennessee is 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games played on a Saturday.
Per Knox News, only one sports writer of seven is predicting Kentucky to win. That’s Phil Kaplan, USA Today assistant sports editor, calling for a 12-9 Kentucky upset.
Pete Fiutak of College Football News is siding with the majority, predicting a Tennessee victory but does see Kentucky covering the 6-point spread.
TeamRankings projects a 27-20 victory for Tennessee, while numberFire went with a 24-19 Vols win.
At Sports Illustrated, three of their four pickers sided with the Vols, while Molly Geary was the lone pick for kentucky.
Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report has Tennessee winning 27-14.
At CBS Sports, five of their seven experts picked Kentucky to cover the 6-point spread, but only two picked the Cats to win outright.
At Borderline Sports, only one of their five writers picked Kentucky to win, which was a 27-14 win for the Cats.
Kentucky put on a more than solid defensive performance last week, mostly covering up how atrocious their offense looked for a full four quarters. It’s obvious the Wildcats miss Kavosiey Smoke and the punch he adds to their backfield. While Chris Rodriguez and AJ Rose have been efficient, Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran blatantly shied away from his run game last week. If the offense can’t be fixed, it’s highly doubtful the defense can go and carry them for a second consecutive week.
Final Score: Tennessee 31, Kentucky 20
How do you see Saturday’s game playing out? Let us know in the comments section!