UK Concludes Season With Senior Day vs. Tennessee
Nov. 25, 2011
Kentucky will conclude the regular-season portion of its 2011 slate when it plays host to Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee on Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium.
Kentucky is coming off a hard-fought 19-10 loss last Saturday in Athens, Ga., to the No. 13-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The win for Georgia clinched the SEC East Division title.
The Wildcats were led in the game by a solid defensive performance, creating four turnovers and limiting UGA to 317 total yards of offense, which is the second-lowest total of the year for the Bulldogs, just behind the 315 gained against Mississippi State.
Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan paced UK by tying a career high with 17 tackles, including one sack, three tackles for loss and two fumbles forced. True freshmen Ashely Lowery and Alvin Dupree finished second with five tackles, while senior defensive back Taiedo Smith also had five tackles. Trevathan's impressive performance was his 21st game of his career of double-figure tackles and increased his lead as the SEC's leading tackler with 135 stops. Trevathan ranks third in the nation in that category.
Offensively, true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith has started the past three games for the Wildcats, completing 84-of-153 passes (54.9 percent) with 819 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Junior tailback Coshik Williams leads UK in rushing with 97 carries for 418 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow junior wide receiver La'Rod King leads the team in receiving with 39 catches for 596 yards and seven touchdowns.
Kentucky is looking for its first win over Tennessee since the 1984 season.
Twenty-one players will be playing their final collegiate game at Kentucky on Saturday.
Cat Scratches: Decorated senior class out to end career in style
The 21-member senior class Kentucky will honor before its regular season finale on Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium has been among the most successful in school history.
The seniors have accomplished things few Wildcats have. They've won bowl games, they've won games against top-10 opponents and they've prevailed on some of the Southeastern Conference's toughest environments. Individually, they've had the SEC's leader in tackles, they've earned All-America honors and have been named to All-SEC teams... read the full preview
After defeating in-state rival Vanderbilt last Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee enters Saturday's contest in Lexington looking to become bowl eligible with its sixth win of the season. Tennessee is 5-6 this season and 1-6 in Southeastern Conference play.
Tennessee's thrilling overtime win against Vanderbilt was clinched when sophomore defensive back Eric Gordon returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown, sealing Tennessee's first conference win of the season.
The game also marked the return of sophomore starting quarterback Tyler Bray, who missed the previous five games because of injury. Bray has been impressive for UT this season when healthy, completing over 63 percent of his passes (132-209) for 1,768 yards, 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Bray's favorite target this year has been sophomore wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers, who has 65 catches for 1,002 yards and nine touchdowns. Junior tight end Mychal Rivera and freshman wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett are also having solid years with Rivera gathering 27 catches for 326 yards and a touchdown and Arnett collection 21 catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
While Bray was out, true freshman Justin Worley and senior Matt Simms filled in with Worley starting three games and Simms two. On the season, Worley has completed 48-of-87 passes for 604 yards and one touchdown, while Simms is 27-for-62 with 319 yards.
The UT rushing attack has been led this season by senior tailback Tauren Poole, who has 178 carries for 661 yards and five touchdowns. True freshman tailback Marlin Lane has 68 carries for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while sophomore tailback Rajion Neal has 25 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, UT has been led by senior linebacker Austin Johnson, who paces the team in tackles with 74 while adding five tackles for loss, one sack and a team-high four interceptions. True freshman linebacker A.J. Johnson is second on the team in tackles with 71. Senior defensive lineman Malik Jackson leads the team in tackles for loss with nine and sacks with two and a half.
Last Time vs. Tennessee
Kentucky closed out the regular season at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., against the Tennessee Volunteers with a 24-14 loss.
After holding Tennessee on their opening drive of the game, Kentucky got on the board first with a 17-yard touchdown scamper from senior tailback Derrick Locke. The touchdown run was set up after a 12-yard pass from senior quarterback Mike Hartline to Randall Cobb on third and long that moved Kentucky to the Tennessee 37-yard line.
The Volunteers responded in the second quarter with an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Bray to senior wide receiver Gerald Jones. Later in the quarter, the Volunteers took the lead when Bray connected with Denarius Moore for a 12-yard touchdown strike to go up 14-7 at the halftime break. Bray finished the day with 354 yards and two TDs.
The Cats evened the score on the first possession of the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-one from the Tennessee two-yard line, Hartline connected with freshman tight end Tyler Robinson for the first touchdown of Robinson's collegiate career.
Tennessee took the lead for good later in the third quarter when junior tailback Tauren Poole found his way into the endzone from two yards out. Senior kicker Daniel Lincoln kicked a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to give the Volunteers a 24-14 lead they would hold the remainder of the game. Hartline completed 31 of 44 passes for 272 yards. His favorite target was Cobb, who snagged 13 catches for 116 yards. Locke added 97 rushing yards. Junior linebacker Danny Trevathan finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles.
Kentucky finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, making the Wildcats bowl eligible for the fifth-straight season.