Tennessee (5-6, 1-6 SEC) at Kentucky (4-7, 1-6)
When: 12:21 p.m.
Radio: WLAP AM-630; WBUL FM-98.1; XM Channel 200; Sirius Premier Package Channel 218
Never miss a local story.
Series: Tennessee leads 74-23-9 and has won the last 26 games in a row
Last meeting: Tennessee won 24-14 on Nov. 27, 2010, in Knoxville, Tenn.
Line: Tennessee is favored by nine points
1. Protect Maxwell Smith
Last week at Georgia, UK surrendered five quarterback sacks and Maxwell Smith wound up with a sprained throwing shoulder. It will be a game-time decision whether Smith or Morgan Newton starts Saturday. To have its best chance at pulling an upset of the Volunteers, Kentucky needs the true freshman Smith on the field and upright.
2. Force turnovers
Given the limited amount of playmaking ability the Kentucky offense has displayed this season, creating scoring opportunities from UT miscues seems UK's best hope of victory. After forcing four turnovers at Georgia last week, can the Wildcats defense bring the lumber with a similar fury for a second game in a row?
3. Let'er rip
In recent years when its had chances to beat Tennessee — and it has had them — UK has often seemed to feel the weight of the world in late-game situations and played not to lose instead of to win. This time, all the pressure should be on UT, which needs a victory to become bowl-eligible. Kentucky has nothing to lose. The Cats need to go bold and take chances in pursuit of victory.
In many ways, Kentucky played its best game of what has been a disappointing season last Saturday at Georgia. Still, most of the talk this week has been about the job security (or lack there of) of Joker Phillips. This rocky UK football season would feel a whole lot like a success if the Cats could end with a much-longed-for squeezing of the Big Orange.