The biggest rivalry game the Cats have on their schedule this year takes place this Saturday in Knoxville.
After coming off an impressive defensive performance last week, Kentucky once again stacks up well against a solid Tennessee team. But who will need to stand out this week for the Cats to pull off their first win at Neyland Stadium since 1984?
Here are 3 names to watch out for:
Last week was a step in the right direction for Joseph. When you don’t hear a defensive backs name called often that doesn’t necessarily mean that they had a bad game. Most of the time it means either their coverage was tight and the ball didn’t come their way often or they made the plays when it came that way. He shored up his aggressiveness and didn’t have a PI last week compared to weeks prior. This week though we need him to be the stud he came in heralded to be.
For Kentucky to win this game they have to keep the pass game in control. I have full faith in the front 7 to be able to stop the run, but the back end could still be rough when we aren’t dropping 8 men into coverage.
This will be a great game to prove themselves overall. With some confidence gained from last week I expect Joseph to step up and lock down his matchup and make a big play or two to put Kentucky in a place to win.
Chris Rodriguez Jr.
If the Cats do stand a chance of upsetting the Vols it will come from ball control. The best way to do that is to have a consistent ground game, and C-Rod is the guy for the job.
Averaging 5.6 YPC so far this year he continues to prove to the BBN that he is the back of the future. With his body type and the strength of the UT front seven this is the type of game Rodriguez should thrive in as it could become a grinder.
Through the first three games he has shown the potential to be a star back in the SEC, even drawing plenty of comparisons to UK superstar Benny Snell Jr. Just how the Cats rode Benny to victory for years, it’s time to do the same with Rodriguez.
If he gets 15+ touches, the Cats will be in good shape. If he doesn’t, then it could be a long day in Knoxville.
BBN has been screaming for Gran to figure out someway to get the TE’s involved in the offense. We saw a couple of flashes of that classic TE streak throw we got accustomed to with CJ Conrad against MSST last weekend, but there still needs to be more.
This could be the breakout game most people have been predicting for Upshaw. Tennessee linebackers have had some problem in pass coverage so far this season and Upshaw will absolutely be a mismatch in this situation.
Look for him to be targeted in 3rd and long situations as well as get several red zone targets if the Cats get the chances.
Overall both teams match up well across the board. If these three guys play well and the Cats don’t turn the ball over they will have a solid chance to leave Knoxville with the win.