Can Vols score on emotionally-charged UK?

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While Kentucky's Joker Phillips and Tennessee's Derek Dooley are both in just their second year as head coaches at their respective programs, they are quickly getting a taste of the football history between the two schools.

This weekend's matchup will be the 107th with the Volunteers leading the series 74-23-9, including 26 straight wins.

The Southeastern Conference Eastern Division rivals kick off at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexingtoon, Ky., on Saturday afternoon at 12:21 EST (TV: SEC Network).

"I know a lot of people are going to want to change the focus away from Kentucky to other things like streaks and bowls and all that, but it is so important that our team takes the same approach as they did last week and they take the same approach during the game that they did against Vanderbilt," Dooley said.

"Like every SEC game, it's going to be hard, it's on the road, they played Georgia to the wire and it's their last home game. So I know how emotional it is for any team in their last home game. We have a big challenge and we will see if can live up to it.  If we can, people will be feeling pretty good; and if we can't, it will be kind of a disappointing year. That is where we are."

Kentucky (4-7, 1-6 SEC) has some youth up front on defense but much more experience in the back seven with all upperclassmen, including seniors at two linebacker spots, safety and both cornerbacks. All 21 Wildcat seniors will be honored before the game.

Kentucky's defense has recorded at least one takeaway in six straight games and the pass defense ranks in at No. 21 in the country, relinquishing just 191.9 yards per game. They held Eastern Division champion Georgia to 19 points and coaxed the Bulldogs into four turnovers.

Tennessee (5-6, 1-6) getting quarterback Tyler Bray back on the field after sitting out five games with a broken thumb suffered in the second half against Georgia was vital for the offense against Vanderbilt. While he threw a pair of costly interceptions, his presence in the huddle was a much-needed mental lift.

"He keeps us calm, with his personality, he keeps us laughing in the huddle at TV timeouts," offensive tackle Dallas Thomas said of Bray. "He will say, ‘Don't worry about something' he will crack a joke and keep a us smiling."

Including redshirt freshmen like punter Matt Darr, tailback Jaron Toney, kicker Derrick Brodus, defensive tackle Greg Clark and defensive end Martaze Jackson, Dooley has been forced to trot 21 freshmen onto the turf this year. Thus, many of the sophomores like Bray that saw playing time last season are looked upon as team leaders already, especially with the starting lineup containing just four seniors.

Bray met with reporters at Haslam Field on Tuesday morning as the Volunteers continue preparations for Kentucky. To see what the signal-caller had to say, click on the video below:

One of the 16 true freshmen that have played for Tennessee this season answered reporters' questions as well as wide receiver Vincent Dallas had his first media opportunity since coming to Knoxville:

Wide receiver Da' Rick Rogers talks about the game plan in attacking the Wildcat defense in this video:

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