Written By: Michael McCarty/@mick_mccarty
Kentucky is looking to bounce back after it’s heart braking loss last week against Georgia. They are playing in Knoxville, which is a place that Kentucky has not had a lot of recent success winning. Tennessee has been an inconsistent team to say the least. Kentucky on the other hand has a defense that is starting to pile up some injuries and look a little tired. Let’s break down each team and try to predict what will happen on Saturday.
Tennessee comes into this game 4-5 with a 1-4 SEC record. The Volunteers only need two more wins to become bowl eligible. They finish the season after Kentucky with Missouri and Vanderbilt. I don’t expect this to be a team that has given up and will be walked all over on Saturday. Tennessee is lead by sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Jarrett has thrown for 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on the season. Jarrett is a pocket passer so the Cats defense does not need to worry about him running with the ball. Tennessee does not have a single running back that gets the most of their carries. They spread the ball out having six different backs get rushing touchdowns on the season.
On the defensive end the Volunteers give up almost 27 points per game. They average giving up 160 yards on the ground and 207 yards through the air. Against SEC opponents they are giving up 38.8 points per game so the Wildcats should be able to put up some points against this team.
This game will show the mental toughness of this UK team. Will UK respond or come out deflated after losing to Georgia. The concern would be that UK has struggled to get much of anything going on the offensive end. Especially with their lack of a strong running game. I do not know if it is due to a tired offensive line or a tired running back but hopefully they can figure that out before Saturday. Kentucky should come out and pound the ball with Benny to get themselves going. Terry Wilson will be able to throw on this defense so unless there is something larger wrong with this team, expect them to be able to score.
On the defensive end Kentucky is starting to get a collection of players with minor injuries. I don’t expect that to have too much of a negative impact since this Tennessee offense has struggled all year long. As always Josh Allen is simply a beast and I expect him to dominate a game once again causing a turnover or two. I would be surprised to see this team give up more than 17 points to a Tennessee team that just does not impress me.
I expect this game to be closer than I would like with the Cats not gaining the lead until the 4thquarter. I am just not sure how the Cats will come out looking on the offensive end. I believe defensively they will be ok. Look for the Cats to win 28-17 by pulling ahead in the fourth then getting a late defensive touchdown to seal the game.
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