USA Today/Randy Sartin

Breaking down the Kentucky Wildcats' matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers

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

KENTUCKY vs. TENNESSEE

WHEN: SATURDAY, OCT. 31, 7:30 PM ET

WHERE: COMMONWEALTH STADIUM (61,000) LEXINGTON, KY

TV: SEC NETWORK

KENTUCKY WILDCATS

Record: 4-3, 2-3 SEC

Ranking: Not ranked

Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)

Record: 11-20 (Third season) at UK: 11-20 (Third season) vs. UT: 0-2

Last Game: L, 42-16 at Miss. State

Next Game: Nov. 7 at Georgia

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS

Record: 3-4, 1-3 SEC

Ranking: Not ranked

Coach: Butch Jones (Ferris State, 1990)

Record: 65-44 (Eighth season) at UT: 15-17 (Third season) vs. UK: 2-0

Last Game: L, 19-14 at Alabama

Next Game: Nov. 7 vs. South Carolina

*****

Series Record: Tennessee leads, 77-24-9

In Lexington: Tennessee leads, 36-14-3

Last Meeting: Tennessee won, 50-16 (A)

BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:

When Kentucky has the ball… The Volunteers enter the game with a defense that ranks 12th in the SEC in total yards allowed and 13th in passing yards allowed, so it looks like a favorable matchup for Patrick Towles and his talented playmakers in the receiving corps. However, UK has also been prone to giving up sacks. Last week, Tennessee racked up five sacks against Alabama in a near upset of the Crimson Tide. Keeping Towles upright and avoiding poor down-and-distance situations will determine whether the Cats have a chance to pull the upset. Kentucky must account for UT junior linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin (No. 21, 10.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks) who has a knack for making a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.

When Tennessee has the ball… A week after getting dismantled by Mississippi State dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cats have to pick themselves off the mat and face another big time talent in the Vols' Joshua Dobbs (No. 11, 6-3, 207, 9 TD, 2 INT). Last year in Knoxville, Dobbs passed for 297 yards, rushed for 48 yards and produced four touchdowns in leading UT to a 50-16 win. Most likely, he's going to put up big numbers again, but the keys for UK will be coming up with some turnovers and/or stiffening when the Vols reach the red zone. When the Cats were playing better defensively early in the season, they were making opponents settle for field goals. Another standout for UT is Jalen Hurd (No. 1, 6-4, 240, 94.9 ypg, 8 TD) who will be one of the more physical running backs the Cats see this season. UK needs to stay out of third-and-short situations. Keep an eye on Tennessee kicker Aaron Medley, who has converted only nine of 17 field goal attempts this season.



MILESTONE WATCH:

UK's Patrick Towles has 390 pass completions and needs 10 more to become the sixth player in school history to reach 400 career passing completions. He also needs just four yards passing to become only the sixth player in school history to reach the 5,000 mark, joining Jared Lorenzen, Andre Woodson, Tim Couch, Mike Hartline and Bill Ransdell..

ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:

Kentucky is 5-9 overall on Oct. 31, including a 3-5 mark at home. The Cats' last game on Halloween was a 31-24 loss to Mississippi State in 2009 in Lexington. UK last won on Halloween in 1987, a 14-7 triumph over Virginia Tech in Lexington.

NOTES:

  • The UK-UT series dates back to 1893 with the Vols holding a 77-24-9 advantage. The two teams have met annually since 1919, with the exception of 1943 when UK did not field a team. The 110 matchups are the most for any UK opponent.
  • Jojo Kemp and Stanley "Boom" Williams became the 34th and 35th players to join UK's 1,000-yard rushing club. It marks just the sixth time in school history that two Cats have reached 1,000 career yards in the same season.
  • UK leads the SEC and ranks tied for 12th nationally in red-zone offense as the Cats are 23-for-25 with 16 touchdowns and seven field goals.
  • UT's Jalen Hurd rushed for 92 yards last week at Alabama, the most by a Vol against the Crimson Tide since 2001 (Travis Stephens, 162).
  • The Vols' 10 TFLs at Alabama were the most by an opponent in Tuscaloosa since 2007 (LSU).

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