UK Football

UK-Tennessee: Keys to the game

Kentucky (6-5) at Tennessee (5-6)

When: 12:21 p.m.

Where: Neyland Stadium in Knoxville


Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1

Records: Kentucky (6-5 overall, 2-5 SEC), Tennessee (5-6, 2-5)

Series: Tennessee leads 73-23-9

Last meeting: Tennessee won 30-24 in overtime at Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 28, 2009


A quick start

It sounds like a broken record, but it is what it is. If Kentucky is to have any shot at ending the streak, it needs to put pressure on the Volunteers early. The Cats can't continue to count on furious second-half rallies, especially against a program they haven't beaten in 25 years.

Pressure Bray

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray has been one hot freshman firecracker over the past month, and if UK lets him sit back in the pocket, he'll slice and dice the Wildcats' secondary all afternoon. Bray did throw two interceptions last week at Vanderbilt, though, and if UK can get him out of his comfort zone with some different coverages and blitz packages, it could force some much-needed turnovers.

Don't get psyched out by the streak

Most of the recent games between Tennessee and Kentucky have been close, and this one shapes up no differently. Kentucky has had plenty of chances to end the streak but hasn't been able to make the clutch plays when presented the opportunity. If it comes down to crunch time again, the Cats have to block out any psychological factors, step up and make game-winning plays.


Some have been trying to downplay it, but the bottom line is this game is huge. It's huge for UK Coach Joker Phillips and the future of the program, and it's huge for Tennessee. A win would give Phillips victories over Louisville, Steve Spurrier and Tennessee in his first season. If you're a UK fan, how can you be disappointed with that? A loss would send the Cats sputtering into a bowl where they will have to succeed just to preserve a winning season.