GAMEDAY: KENTUCKY vs. TENNESSEE

This AllWildcats.com feature gives you everything you need to know about the Kentucky Wildcats' matchup with the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

Kentucky vs. Tennessee
When: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
Where: Neyland Stadium (102,455) Knoxville, Tenn.
TV: SEC Network

KENTUCKY WILDCATS:
Head Coach: Mark Stoops
Career Record: 7-15 (2 yrs.)
At Kentucky: 7-15 (2 yrs.)
RECORD: 5-5, 2-5 SEC
2014 Rank: NR/NR
Points/Game: 29.4
Rush Yds/Game: 159.3
Rushing TDs: 18
Pass Yds/Game: 199.7
Passing TDs: 16
Total Off./Game: 402.0
Total Def./Game: 390.0

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS:
Head Coach: Butch Jones
Career Record: 59-39 (8 yrs.)
At Tennessee: 9-12 (2 yrs.)
RECORD: 4-5, 1-4 SEC
2014 Rank: NR/NR
Points/Game: 26.2
Rush Yds/Game: 131.4
Rushing TDs: 12
Pass Yds/Game: 235.7
Passing TDs: 16
Total Off./Game: 367.1
Total Def./Game: 375.0

SERIES RECORD:
Overall: UT, 76-24-9
Knoxville: UT, 40-10-6
Lexington: UT, 36-14-3
Current Streak: UT W2
Last Meeting: UT, 27-14, Nov. 30, 2013 in Lexington
Last Meeting in Knoxville: UT, 37-17, Nov. 24, 2012

BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… The Cats will likely need a lot of points to win this one. Tennessee’s offense has been improving (20 points against Alabama and 45 against South Carolina in the last two games) so the Vols are likely licking their chops to get a piece of the fragile UK defense. Patrick Towles & Co. may need to win this one in shootout fashion, meaning every possession could be crucial. The staff has stressed getting out of the gates fast and setting a good tempo, something the Cats have been unable to accomplish during their four-game losing streak. Kentucky must account for Tennessee freshman defensive end Derek Barnett (No. 9) who has recorded three sacks in two of his last three games. UT ranks third in the SEC with 24 sacks. The Cats also have enormous respect for senior linebacker A.J. Johnson (No. 45) who leads the SEC in tackles with 96, including 8.5 tackles for loss. UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown says he may be the best defender in the league, if not the entire country.

When Tennessee has the ball… Tackling. Tackling. Tackling. It’s been a broken record this week at the Nutter Training Center. Get off blocks. Wrap up. The Cats haven’t done much of it lately, and if they have any hopes of winning in Knoxville for the first time since 1984, they’ll need to do it better than they have all season long. The Vols have a new starting quarterback following season-ending surgery to Justin Worley, and Joshua Dobbs (No. 11) has responded in a big way. The sophomore from Georgia passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 166 yards and three scores in UT’s come-from-behind win at South Carolina. Those stats are a red flag for a UK defense that has been frequently victimized by dual-threat quarterbacks. Kentucky defensive ends Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith need to have a major impact while being disciplined enough to keep containment on the agile Dobbs. The Vols also have an impressive young running back in Jalen Hurd, a bruising 6-3, 227-pound freshman who is averaging 4.5 yards per carry on the season.

MILESTONE WATCH:
Senior wide receivers Javess Blue and Demarco Robinson need just 29 and 35 yards, respectively, to become only the 23rd and 24th players in program history to record 1,000 receiving yards for a career.

ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
On Nov. 15, 1997, Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 21-10 in Nashville marking Bill Curry’s final victory as the Wildcats’ head coach. Current UK offensive line coach John Schlarman served as a captain for that team.

NOTES:
• Kentucky needs just one win to secure bowl eligibility in only its second year under head coach Mark Stoops.

• The Cats have won only twice (1984 and 2010) in their last 30 matchups against the Vols.

• UK ranks ninth in the country with explosive plays of 40-plus yards with 17 on the season.

• UK ranks 11th in the country in passes intercepted with 13 after recording only three the entire 2013 season.


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