The dominance of UT continues

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky hadn't beaten Tennessee in 24 years heading into Saturday night's matchup with the Volunteers. Make that 25 years. Senior running back Montario Hardesty scored on a 20-yard run in overtime to lead the Vols to a 30-24 victory over the Wildcats. Go "Inside" to see why UT continues its dominance over Kentucky.

Kentucky hadn't beaten Tennessee in 24 years heading into Saturday night's matchup with the Volunteers.

Make that 25 years.

There was no doubt in anyone's mind that attended this ballgame that this was Kentucky's best opportunity to end the 24-year-old losing streak. Tennessee entered the game with a first-year coach and a depleted linebacker corps due to injury.

The Wildcats were licking their whiskers thinking this was there best chance for a win.

Note to Kentucky faithful: Since you didn't end it today, it could be another few years before you get the opportunity.

The Tennessee program under Coach Lane Kiffin is recruiting with the big boys of the league and in the nation.

"We knew that we were playing a great ball club that was coming off a lot of momentum," Kiffin admitted after the game. "It was a home game for them, they were very hungry and focused we knew we had our hands full."

Kentucky came out on fire, holding a seven-point lead at the half.

Tennessee countered with 10 unanswered points in the third quarter and it appeared the Vols were headed for a hard-fought victory.

A Luke Stocker fumble gave the Wildcats new life late in the fourth quarter, but the Volunteer defense again answered the call, holding Kentucky to a game-tying field goal.

"I'm truly proud of the way our guys finished the game," Kiffin said. "We made several big plays. Our players wouldn't be denied."

Running back Montario Hardesty scored on a 20-yard run on his 39th carry of the game.

"Hardesty was incredible," Kiffin noted. "He was like a fighter that wouldn't go down. He just kept fighting. It was an incredible performance by him, what a great way to end his regular season."

Kentucky fans felt this was their best opportunity, and some felt that they were a little snakebit by the Volunteer losing streak.

"I thought we had them tonight," one fan said leaving the stadium. "Our program is back on track, we are better than we have been in a long time."

That statement perhaps shows Tennessee's dominance over the Wildcats.

Even at Kentucky's best and while Tennessee appears to be rebuilding, the Wildcats can't find a way to end the quarter of century losing streak to the Volunteers.

On this night in Lexington, Kentucky, it was Tennessee continuing its winning ways against the Wildcats.

With the win, the Vols now will wait to see where they are headed for postseason play. It appears that Tennessee may be headed to Tampa, Florida, and the Outback Bowl. Other possibilities include the Cotton Bowl (outside chance) and perhaps the Chick-Fil-la Bowl in Atlanta.


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