KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A 10-win regular season is still a possibility for No. 12 Kentucky, but to have a chance to get there it will have to clear its final SEC hurdle Saturday at Tennessee. The Wildcats have won 10 games in a season only twice -- the last time being in 1977 -- and to do so again, they will have to beat the Volunteers in Knoxville for the first time since 1984.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Kentucky -6
Not only are the Wildcats on the wrong end of a 16-game losing streak in Knoxville, few of the games have been close as the 22.7 average margin of victory for Tennessee attests. Add that to the fact Kentucky is coming off a tough loss to No. 5 Georgia that ended any hopes of appearing in the SEC Championship Game, a letdown wouldn't be surprising. "Just beating Tennessee is important to us, whether there is a streak involved or not," coach Mark Stoops, whose team won at Florida this season for the first time since 1979, told the media. "They don't know anything about 34 years ago. They want to win for their team, this year." The Volunteers, who had won 31 of 32 games against the Wildcats prior to a 29-26 defeat last season, scored two first-quarter touchdowns and held on to beat Charlotte 14-3 last week.
ABOUT KENTUCKY (7-2, 5-2 SEC)
Benny Snell, Jr. has been held to fewer than 100 yards rushing in four of the last five games, the longest stretch of his career, but had a big game last season against the Volunteers. The junior, who sits second in school history to Sonny Collins in rushing yards (3,432) and 100-yard games (16), gained 180 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries as Kentucky snapped a five-game losing streak to Tennessee. Snell notched his 10th touchdown in the loss to the Georgia, giving him three straight years of double figures.
ABOUT TENNESSEE (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
Ty Chandler will be happy to see Kentucky come to town as the sophomore running back had one of his best career games in last season's loss. The Nashville native set career-highs with 22 carries, two touchdowns and 120 rushing yards, the latter he has since broken and also caught two balls for 33 yards against the Wildcats. Chandler, who earlier this year became the first Tennessee running back to catch a touchdown pass in three straight games, was held without a catch and rushed for minus-1 yard on two attempts against Charlotte, which boasts the third-best rushing defense in the nation.
1. Snell is the first player in Kentucky history with three 1,000-yard seasons and the third SEC player with at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons, joining Herschel Walker of Georgia (1980-82) and Darren McFadden of Arkansas (2005-07).
2. CB Bryce Thompson, who is tied for second in interceptions in the SEC with Kentucky's Darius West, became the first Tennessee freshman to amass three interceptions in a season since Eric Berry in 2007.
3. After being held without a sack against Georgia for the third game this season, Kentucky's Josh Allen remains 1.5 behind Oliver Barnett (26) for the most in school history.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 23, Tennessee 6
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