The No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats will battle SEC-foe Tennessee in Knoxville looking for their third win since 1984. The Wildcats look to bounce back from a 34-17 loss to No. 5 Georgia that ended a chance of playing in the SEC Championship. On the other hand, the Volunteers accumulated only 192 yards in an uninspiring 14-3 win versus Charlotte last week. Despite the performances, Kentucky and Tennessee both are aiming to win-out.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) November 7, 2018
Ten is an important number for the Wildcats. Kentucky aims to finish with 10 wins in the regular season. How do they get there? Winning their 10th game in Week 10 versus Tennessee. A win most likely brings the Wildcats back into the top 10 in the AP poll and College Football Playoff rankings. Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr.’s 10 touchdowns and linebacker Josh Allen’s 10 sacks are two key factors in the team’s season so far.
However, Snell was contained to only a touchdown and 73 yards versus Georgia. Although Georgia is a strong opponent, Kentucky finished its fourth-straight game scoring under 20 points. Therefore, the Wildcats defense will need to avoid giving up anywhere near the 444 yards given up versus the Bulldogs to help out the offense.
Head Coach Mark Stoops said he believes quarterback Terry Wilson Jr. can progress in an offense that has lacked balance the last couple of weeks.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) November 6, 2018
Tennessee Aiming for Bowl-Berth
The Volunteers sit next to cross-state rivals Vanderbilt at the bottom of the SEC East standings. However, a 4-5 record means Jeremy Pruitt’s team can clinch a bowl-berth if they win two of three games. Pruitt hopes he can get his team to perform against a Kentucky team coached by a man he doesn’t know well, but respects.
Furthermore, Pruitt praised the Wildcats defense and the team’s record on the road this season.
With that, the Volunteers offense will most likely need to put up at least 20 points if hoping to win this game. Tennessee sits at 119 of 129 teams in the FBS in total offense, trailed by the Charlotte team they beat last week. Pruitt will look to exploit wide receiver Marquez Callaway, who returned a punt return 82 yards for a touchdown last week.
All in all, this is arguably the hardest game remaining on both of their schedules, meaning a win at 3:30 p.m. from Neyland Stadium is crucial to ending the season on a high note.