Lexington, KY – Michael Willis – Bluegrass Sports Nation Columnist – 11-8-18
Game Preview: Kentucky (7-2) vs. Tennessee (4-5)
This week the Kentucky Wildcats will be traveling to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The loss to Georgia has the Kentucky fans and players looking for something to lift their spirits and a win at Tennessee could be it. Tennessee may be considered Kentucky’s biggest football rival outside of the Kentucky/Louisville game and for many years the Volunteers thumped the Wildcats. However, the Cats seemed to pull past the Vols and go into Saturday’s game looking for their second win in a row.
Scoring shouldn’t be an issue for Kentucky this week. Tennessee is allowing their opponents to score 26.6 points per game while only scoring 24.3 per game themselves. Though the scoring hasn’t reflected it, Terry Wilson has played well the past couple games and he should see scoring results this week. Benny Snell, whom had a disappointing game against the Bulldogs (77 yards), should have a big week this week. The Vols give up 161 yards a game rushing and have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns this year.
The defense was perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the game last week. They couldn’t stop Georgia from rushing and allowed 6.6 yards per carry. This shouldn’t be the case this weekend. The defense was not happy with the performance last week and will be looking to stop Tennessee from advancing the football. Tennessee relies on their running backs Tim Jordan and Ty Chandler who both average 46 yards a game carrying the football. The Volunteers quarterback, Jarrett Guarantano, is the biggest scoring threat. He is averaging 174 yards passing a game with a 65% completion percentage. Josh Allen’s ability to get to the quarterback will be crucial this game.
The Cats know that there is still plenty to play for this season. I don’t think that Kentucky will let Tennessee win this week knowing that they can get to 10 wins this season. I believe our defense, especially Allen and Daniel, will play with a chip on their shoulder and almost shut out the Volunteers. I think the Wildcats win in a 31-10 victory.