Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) runs for yardage after making a catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee Travels to Kentucky for Rivalry Matchup

The No. 21 Tennessee Volunteers (5-2, 2-2 SEC) travel to Lexington to renew their rivalry with the Kentucky Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 SEC), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Both teams need a victory to have a chance to finish at least third in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky and Tennessee are both coming off of losses with Kentucky losing 38-21 to the Missouri Tigers at home, while Tennessee lost 34-20 on the road to the Alabama Crimson Tide on the third Saturday in October annual rivalry game.

The SEC is the tightest its been in years especially in the East. The winner will stay alive to possibly win the SEC East with help from some others in the division.

Tennessee Head Coach Josh Heupel talked about how the Volunteers weren’t as efficient on offense as they wanted to be last week and how they need to better on the line of scrimmage. Heupel continued on why this game is important to the fans with it being a a major rivalry.

Rivalry History

This is the 80th consecutive year with these teams meeting and the 118th overall. Tennessee has beaten Kentucky 82 times, more than any other team. Some say the Vols’ own this series but these two teams look to be more equal coming into this year’s game. Tennessee has won 18 of the last 20 games in Lexington, including the past two meetings with the last three visits being decided by four points or less.

The Wildcats’ SEC-high 479 penalty yards are just nine more than Tennessee. The Volunteers committed eight penalties for 55 yards, while Alabama had one penalty for five yards which played a big role in the Crimson Tide scoring 27 straight second half points.

Coach Heupel talked about the physicality Kentucky plays with on the offensive side of the ball and how they are able to own the line of scrimmage.

Players To Watch

Kentucky Quarterback Devin Leary ranks third in the SEC with 14 passing touchdowns. The Wildcats star cornerback Maxwell Hairston leads the SEC with five interceptions – two being returned for TDs and is tied with teammate D’Eryk Jackson for 19th in the league with 44 tackles. Kentucky’s seven interceptions rank second in the SEC.

Tennessee QB Joe Milton III threw for 271 yds and two touchdowns against Alabama and added 59 yards with his legs. Yet, he couldn’t consistently move the Volunteers’ offense in the second half as Tennessee blew a 20-7 halftime lead.

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