Mark Story

First Scouting Report: No. 9 Kentucky at Tennessee

An early look ahead to Kentucky’s next football game:

The opponent

No. 9 Kentucky (7-2, 5-2 SEC) will travel to Knoxville to face Tennessee (4-5, 1-4 SEC) Saturday, Nov. 10, in its final SEC game of 2018. The Wildcats and Volunteers play at 3:30 p.m. in a game that will be telecast on the SEC Network. New coach Jeremy Pruitt’s Vols defeated Charlotte (4-5) 14-3 Saturday at Neyland Stadium in spite of rushing for only 20 net yards as a team.

Tennessee leads the all-time series with Kentucky 79-25-9. However, after losing 26 in a row to the Volunteers (1985-2010), UK has won two of the past seven.

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New Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt, right, received a personalized jersey from UT Athletics Director Phillip Fulmer during his introductory news conference on Dec. 7, 2017, in Knoxville. Pruitt is the former defensive coordinator at Alabama, Georgia and Florida State. Steve Megargee Associated Press

Most recent meeting

Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson dove into the end zone with 33 seconds left to complete an 11-yard, game-winning touchdown run as the Wildcats rallied to defeat the Volunteers 29-26 last Oct. 28, 2018, at Kroger Field in Lexington. UK star running back Benny Snell ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries as the Cats won in spite of losing four fumbles and being outgained 445 yards to 371.

Know your foe

1. When Tennessee upset No. 21 Auburn 30-24 at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 13, it snapped an 11-game Volunteers’ losing streak against SEC opponents. It was also UT’s first victory over an SEC West foe since 2010 (a 52-14 victory over Mississippi).

2. New UT head man Jeremy Pruitt is the former defensive coordinator at Alabama (2016 and ‘17), Georgia (2014-15) and Florida State (2013). Pruitt, 44, is a former Alabama high school coach who, as a player, started for two seasons as a safety at Middle Tennessee State before transferring to Alabama and playing his final two seasons as a backup defensive back for ex-Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings.

3. Kentucky will be looking to beat Tennessee in Neyland Stadium for the first time since 1984. That season, led by running back George Adams, quarterback Bill Ransdell and safety/punter Paul Calhoun, Coach Jerry Claiborne’s Cats defeated the Vols 17-12 before what was, at the time, the largest crowd (93,791) ever to see Kentucky play football.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230; Twitter: @markcstory

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