UK Football

Blue Review: Instant analysis from Kentucky’s football loss to Tennessee

Mark Stoops gives credit to Tennessee

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops talks to the media after his team's 49-36 loss at Tennessee.
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Kentucky coach Mark Stoops talks to the media after his team's 49-36 loss at Tennessee.

Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 49-36 loss to Tennessee:

How the game was won

Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns and the UT defense limited Kentucky to one touchdown on five trips into the Volunteers red zone.

Game balls

1. Joshua Dobbs. One final time, the Cat-destroying Tennessee quarterback decimated UK with his arm (223 yards passing and three touchdowns) and legs (147 yards rushing, two TDs). For his career, the UT quarterback accounted for 16 TDs (10 passing, six rushing) in four wins over Kentucky.

2. Corey Vereen. The Tennessee defensive end was a one-man wrecker (five solo tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks) of Kentucky drives.

3. Boom Williams. The Kentucky junior running back (127 yards rushing, one touchdown) was stellar.

Running gassers

1. Kentucky offense. In a game in which UK ran for a whopping 443 yards (3 yards short of its school record), the inability to finish drives in the red zone killed the Cats.

2. Kentucky defense. Defensive improvement has been one of the keys to UK’s turnaround this season, but UT had receivers running free in the Wildcats secondary repeatedly and the Cats were again helpless against a quality dual-threat QB.

3. Mark Stoops. In the last three games against Tennessee, the UK head man has seen his defense give up 50, 52 and 49 points.

Key number(s)

3-of-3 and 2-of-6. Tennessee scored three touchdowns on its three trips inside the Kentucky 20-yard line. Kentucky scored two touchdowns on its six trips inside the Tennessee 20-yard line (and one of those came with 1:41 left in the game when the outcome was decided).

Fashion police

For its final SEC regular-season game of 2016, Kentucky wore blue helmets, white jerseys with blue numbers and letters and blue pants.

Up next

Kentucky (5-5, 4-4 SEC) will try to secure bowl eligibility vs. FCS foe Austin Peay Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Commonwealth Stadium in a game telecast on the SEC Network. Austin Peay (0-9) took a 25-game losing streak into its Ohio Valley Conference matchup against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Clarksville, Tenn.

Know your foe

1. Austin Peay stopped playing scholarship football in 2001, but resumed awarding scholarships in 2007. The Governors went 7-4 (5-3 OVC) that season. Since 2008, however, Peay is 14-85 (not counting Saturday’s EKU game).

2. When Will Healy was hired as Austin Peay head coach last December at the age of 30, the former Chattanooga assistant was the second-youngest head man in NCAA Division I football (FBS or FCS). The only coach younger was Maine’s Joe Harasymiak, who was then 29.

3. Former Kentucky defensive end Lloyd Tubman, a member of UK’s ballyhooed 2014 recruiting class who never played at Kentucky due to a non-football issue, is a sophomore at Austin Peay. Going into the EKU game, the 6-5, 225-pound product of Seneca High School in Louisville had 27 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks, five quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

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