Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Preview: Kentucky vs. Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers will host the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday, November 12th at noon from Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. This rivalry game will be interesting, to say the least, this weekend as the Volunteers have beaten the Wildcats 30 out of the past 31 games played. The Volunteers dominated the Wildcats the past two years, winning 52-21 last year and 50-16 two years ago. However, unlike the past couple years, the Wildcats are ahead of the Volunteers in the SEC East with a 4-3 conference record.

The Tennessee Volunteers started the season strong this year with a five game winning streak.

They were on their way to winning the SEC East up until a brutal four game stretch in the SEC where they lost three league games.  While losses to Texas A&M and Alabama were not surprising, the devastating SEC East loss to South Carolina came as a shock.

However, Tennessee’s 55-0 win last week against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles was a much needed confidence boost for the team. Last week, the Volunteers only allowed 224 yards of offense while putting up 471 yards of its own. Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs had 12 completions for 183 yards and three touchdowns. With defensive tackles Danny O’Brien, Shy Tuttle and Kahlil McKenzie out of this weekend’s game, the defense needs to perform to the best of its ability to win this game. Head coach Butch Jones believes the team has to play their best football yet this season in order to win.

Tennessee is still in the running for the SEC Championship. If they manage to defeat Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt and if the Florida Gators lose one more SEC East game, they will be heading to Atlanta. Perhaps their journey will start with a win against Kentucky this weekend.

The Kentucky Wildcats

 Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats are 5-4 this season and are looking for another SEC win against Tennessee after a devastating loss to Georgia last week. Kentucky ended up losing to Georgia 27-24 due to a last second field goal Rodrigo Blankenship kicked as time expired. During last week’s game, the Wildcats gave up 460 yards of offense including 215 yards on the ground; however, they were also forced three turnovers.

Quarterback Stephen Johnson needs to step up his game this weekend if he’s looking for a win against Tennessee. He completed just 10 passes for 103 yards last week against the Bulldogs with no touchdowns and one interception.

UK coach Mark Stoops says the team has been preparing and they are excited to go to Tennessee this weekend.

Overall, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Tennessee has an 88.9% chance of winning the game.

Be sure to catch the game at noon on Saturday on the SEC Network.

About Sydney Jones

Sydney is a senior studying telecommunications with a specialization in sports media at the University of Florida. She is a multimedia sports reporter for ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF and WUFT-TV.

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