Does Kentucky Have What It Takes to Slow Down Tennessee

Does Kentucky Have What It Takes to Slow Down Tennessee?

Written by on October 27, 2022

The Tennessee faithful will be hoping to hear the University of Tennessee band playing “Rocky Top” a plethora of times on Saturday. If that’s the case, things will be going well for Josh Heupel’s Tennesee Volunteers as they host the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. This will be a huge game for the Vols, as they may be overlooking the Wildcats in anticipation of a matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens the following Saturday.

Let’s preview each of the two teams, and then we’ll give you our prediction for this big SEC matchup.

Kentucky Wildcats vs Tennessee Volunteers

Kentucky Wildcats

After a great start to the season, the Kentucky Wildcats have slowed down a bit. Coming in at 5-2, this is still a very good football team. Mark Stoops has done a great job of building a football program in a predominantly basketball-crazy state. Kentucky is no longer one of the SEC doormats in football that it was for many years.

The offense is led by quarterback Will Levis. Levis could be one of the top picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. He can hurt you in numerous ways. We’ll be curious to see how Stoops decides to attack the Tennessee defense. Will he want to feature a ground attack that will grind the clock down and keep the Volunteer offense off the field, or will he attack a weak Tennessee secondary with an aerial attack? UT’s pass defense is the second-worst in the country, and they just gave up over 300 yards of passing against UT-Martin last week.

Defensively, the Wildcats don’t garner much of a pass rush, but their secondary has done a nice job this season. They held Mississippi State’s pass-heavy offense to just over 200 yards in the air, and Ole Miss is the only other team to gain over 200 yards passing against the UK secondary. 

Tennessee Volunteers

Heupel has done a tremendous job of rebuilding this once-powerful football program. After beating Alabama, Tennessee has put the college football world on notice. Hendon Hooker is one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Tennessee has put their defense in a bind this season because Hooker and the offense score so fast. And even though Hooker throws the ball a lot, they also mix in a lot of running plays as well. This offense is going to be hard for Kentucky to stop.

We’ve already talked about Tennessee’s inability to stop the passing game. However, the defense has done a good job of stopping teams on third downs, and it has been very strong in the red zone. We’ll see how they hold up against a good Kentucky offense. 

Prediction

We think Kentucky will try to grind the clock and then when Tennessee sells out to stop the run, Levis will hurt them with his arm. Kentucky will be able to score some points, but will they be able to outscore one of the nations top offenses? We just don’t think they’ll have enough in them to do that.

Kentucky is a 13-point underdog in this one. We see it being close for much of the game, but Tennessee will pull away late and end up winning by 14. They’ll get lucky and cover the spread.

 
 

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