UK Concludes 2012 Season with Border Rival Tennessee
Nov. 22, 2012
After earning a dominating 34-3 victory over Samford to conclude the 2012 home schedule, Kentucky hits the road to face border rival Tennessee on Saturday to conclude the 2012 season. This marks the 11th consecutive season that UK has concluded regular season play against the Volunteers.
For the first time in 26 years, Kentucky enters the game with Tennessee having won the previous meeting. The Wildcats earned a historic 10-7 victory over the Vols last season in Lexington, snapping a 26-year winless streak against UT. Then-senior wide receiver Matt Roark was the star of the game, playing quarterback for the first time in his career and leading UK to the victory.
The Wildcats are coming off one of their best performances of the year after taking down Samford last weekend with a impressive offensive and defensive showing. Offensively, Kentucky posted 455 yards of total offense including 342 on the ground while the UK defense limited Samford to 102 yards of total offense which was the lowest output by a UK opponent since 1996.
True freshman quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles played well in the game. Whitlow went 10-of-13 for 66 yards and a touchdown, while Towles was 4-for-6 for 47 yards. Whitlow also rushed for 59 yards and a rushing touchdown, while junior Raymond Sanders led the team in rushing with 123 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Avery Williamson paced the defense with 13 tackles, including two sacks. Donte Rumph was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for making five tackles, including a quarterback sack that caused a fumble which was returned for a touchdown.
Cat Scratches: Cats, Vols to lay it all on the line in Knoxville
On Nov. 26, 2011, the streak ended. For the first time in more than quarter century, Kentucky defeated Tennessee.
Having spent more than two decades as a player and coach at Tennessee, Randy Sanders has an idea what the last year has been like in Knoxville, Tenn. Based on that knowledge, UK's offensive coordinator has a pretty good idea the Volunteers will be highly motivated when the two teams match up for the first time since Matt Roark led the Wildcats to an improbable victory... read the full preview
The Tennessee Volunteers enter Saturday's game against Kentucky with a 4-7 record.
The Vols have had a high-powered passing offense this season, ranking 13th nationally and first in the SEC in passing offense with 317.64 passing yards per game. The Vols also rank 23rd in total offense, 26th in scoring offense, 66th in rushing offense and 43rd in passing efficiency.
Quarterback Tyler Bray leads the offensive attack completing 59.5 (248-417) percent of his passes for 3,319 yards and 30 touchdowns. Bray's top target this season has been Justin Hunter, who has 70 catches for 1,018 yards and eight touchdowns. Zach Rogers is second in receiving touchdowns with six on 30 catches. Rajion Neal leads the team in rushing with 147 carries for 655 yards and five touchdowns. UT is third nationally in fewest sacks allowed and first in the conference in that category.
Defensively, linebacker A.J. Johnson leads the team in tackles with 124, ranking second in the SEC. Johnson also leads the team in tackles for loss with 6.5 and is second in quarterback hurries with seven. End Darrington Sentimore paces the team in sacks with four, while safety Byron Moore has a teamleading five interceptions and nine pass breakups.
On special teams, UT ranks 61st nationally in net punting at 36.67. Michael Palardy has done most of the punting this season with an average of 43.2, including 12 punts or 50-plus yards. Palardy also has 69 kickoffs with 24 touchbacks.
Cordarrelle Patterson is the team's top kick returner ranking 12th nationally in kickoff returns with a 29.05 average. Patterson leads the team in all-purpose yardage with 270 rushing yards, 690 receiving yards, 101 punt return yards and 639 kickoff return yards for a total of 1,700 yards.