Tennessee will look to win another one at home this Saturday as they take on the Kentucky Wildcats. What used to be called the “Beer Barrel Rivalry” or the “Battle for the Barrel” has usually been dominated by the Big Orange. Last year Tennessee beat Kentucky by a score of 52-21 on Halloween night. In fact during the last two meetings Tennessee has won both by a combined score of 102 to 27. Tennessee also holds a 78-24-9 all-time record against Kentucky, and has won 30 of the last 31 meetings. The series dates back to 1893 when the two teams first met, and Tennessee has played Kentucky more than any other Vol opponent.
The Wildcats are coached by 4th year Head Coach Mark Stoops, the brother of Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach Bob Stoops. During the offseason the Wildcats suffered the loss of quarterback Patrick Towles, who transferred to Boston College. In place of Towles the Wildcats started Drew Barker until he was sidelined with a back injury and junior transfer Stephen Johnson took over. Johnson has recorded 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Rushing the ball the Vols will need to stop running back Stanley “Boom” Williams, who currently has 4 touchdowns rushing the ball this season.
For the Vols, they could possibly get back running back Alvin Kamara and defensive back Cam Sutton as they have been out with injuries. Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones announced this week that they will be without Evan Berry for the rest of the season though. Interestingly Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs is 3-0 against Kentucky in his career and would love to stay undefeated to the Vols border rival. Vols defensive end Derek Barnett is just three sacks away from tying the University of Tennessee all-time career sacks record holder Reggie White. In two career games against the Wildcats Barnett has accumulated 14 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. Look for both Dobbs and Barnett to have big games, along with powerful running back John Kelly in the backfield. The Vols offense is clicking after a blowout win last week, and if the Tennessee defense stops the run early, the Vols should handle the Wildcats for a 5th straight year.
Tennessee vs. Kentucky
Where: Neyland Stadium
Time: 12 P.M. ET
TV: The SEC Network
Radio: The Vol Network