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Early Kentucky football preview: Tennessee

Haven’t won at Neyland since...oh yeah—the last time the Cats were there.

Kentucky v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Greetings, BBN!

As we wait for the start of the 2022 Kentucky Wildcats football season, now’s a great time to look at the upcoming schedule and scout the opponents.

This time, we look at Week 9 when Kentucky comes off a bye to face the Tennessee Volunteers in Neyland Stadium in their last game of October. This could be one of the most hyped games of the season, as UK and Tennessee could very well be facing off against each other as two top-15 teams.

Let’s dive into this matchup.

Tennessee Volunteers

  • When: October 29th
  • Where: Neyland Stadium
  • Active Streak: Tennessee won the most recent meeting last November
  • Active Stadium Streak: Kentucky won the most recent game in Knoxville in 2020

Tennessee was a points-racking monster last season, piling them high in 40 and 50-burgers week in and week out. They hit the 40-point threshold six times, and even managed 24 and 17 against Alabama and Georgia respectively.

So when they rumbled into Kroger Field last season and started stacking them up, UK’s only option was to try to keep up and return the favor. While the Cats unfortunately came out on the wrong end of the 45-42 game last season, they’ve proved that they have the firepower to keep up with the best offenses in football when Will Levis is slinging the ball.

Can they hold off Hendon Hooker the second time around in Knoxville? This will probably be UK’s biggest test yet, but don’t write this game off as a loss before the ball is even snapped—Stoops and his troops are preparing themselves to beat anyone anywhere no matter what the odds are or the history has been.

Prediction: Kentucky has a chance this season, though a small one, to fight with Georgia once again for the SEC East. I think they can avoid taking too many losses early on, but staying unbeaten this deep in the season seems a bit too much to ask even from this year’s team.

If they come into this game unbeaten, I think they’ll lose, but if they come in with one or two losses, I think the Cats will show their mettle and shock the Vols in front of their own crowd. If they come in 7-0 I think they’ll lose 38-27, but if they come in 6-1 or 5-2, I think they’ll win 42-38.