Wildcats Begin Rivalry Road Trip with Tennessee
The University of Kentucky football team will conclude its 2014 regular season with a two-game road trip against its two biggest rivals, starting with Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET at Neyland Stadium. The Wildcats are looking for their first win at Neyland Stadium since 1984.
|Kentucky at Tennessee|
|Sat., Nov. 15 - 4:00 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | UT
|TV: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
Live Video via SEC Network+
|UK||2014 Team Stats||UT|
|23.5||Kickoff returns (avg)||23.6|
|7.5||Punt returns (avg)||6.3|
|28:55||Time of possession/game||29:57|
|37%||Third down conversion||40%|
|38%||Fourth down conversion||43%|
|390.0||Total yards allowed/game||375.0|
|199.7||Rush yards allowed/game||172.0|
|190.3||Pass yards allowed/game||203.0|
This year’s battle between Kentucky and Tennessee marks the first time the two teams are not each others final regular-season foe since 1953. The move comes due to the annual UK-UofL game moving to the final weekend of the regular season.
Kentucky completed the home portion of its schedule last weekend against Georgia. UK ended the season 5-2 at Commonwealth Stadium, marking only the fourth time since 2000 UK has won five or more games at the venue. UK will open The New CWS next fall after a $120 million reinvention.
Cat Scratches: UK looking to answer lingering questions at Tennessee
The question is inevitable, and Mark Stoops didn't dodge it.
With his team in the midst of a four-game losing streak, Stoops was asked this week about the mental makeup of the Wildcats' mental makeup.
Collectively, do they have what it takes to shake off the losses against a tough opponent? Can they go on the road and punch their tickets to a bowl game?
"It's a fair question," Stoops said. "I don't know. We'll see. We address them today and get with them, we'll see how we respond this week. It will be a challenge, but, heck, just like I said, if you look at it that way, we're 5 5 and with two great opportunities left, again, starting with this one."
This one, of course, is a game Saturday at 4 p.m. ET against rival Tennessee (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference). According to Stoops, it will be a matchup of similar teams in front of 100,000-plus at Neyland Stadium. ... read the full preview
Coming off a bye week, the Volunteers enter Saturday’s game against Kentucky with momentum after a come-from-behind victory two weeks ago against South Carolina in Columbia. The Vols trailed by 14 points with in the closing minutes of the game before forcing overtime and clinching a 45-42 victory in the first overtime. The Vols also have wins this season over Chattanooga, Arkansas State and Utah State.
The Tennessee offense is averaging 26.2 points per game this season behind 367.1 yards of total offense per game. The Vols are rushing for 131.4 yards per game and passing for 235.7 yards per game. Quarterback Justin Worley, who started the first seven games of the season, is out for the season with an injury. He was replaced by Joshua Dobbs, who made his first start of the season against USC, going 23-for-40 for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Dobbs also rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns against the Gamecocks. Alton “Pig” Howard is the team’s leading receiver with 35 catches for 401 yards and one touchdown. Marquez North has four touchdown receptions this season, while Jalen Hurd and Von Pearson each have two. Hurd is the team’s leading rusher with 134 carries for 598 yards and two touchdowns.
The UT defense is allowing 25 points per game this season. Opponents are averaging 375 yards of total offense per game against UT, including 172 on the ground and 203 through the air. The UT defense has 10 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries this season. A.J. Johnson is the team’s leading tackler with 96, including 8.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Jalen Reeves-Maybin has 71 tackles and eight tackles for loss, while Derek Barnett has a team-best 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Cameron Sutton has a team-best three interceptions and six pass breakups.
UT special teams is averaging 23.6 yards per kickoff return and 6.3 yards per punt return. Cameron Sutton is the leader with 6.5 yards per punt return, while Evan Berry has 31.7 yards per kickoff returns. Aaron Medley has made 13-of-18 field goals this season with a long of 46, while Matt Darr is averaging 41.3 yards per punt.