No. 21 Tennessee, looking to move past Alabama loss, visits rested Kentucky in SEC border rivalry

No. 21 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at Kentucky (5-2, 2-2), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).

Line: Tennessee by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Tennessee 83-26-9.


Both need a victory to have a chance to finish at least third in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference and are trying to bounce back from rough losses. Tennessee blew a big halftime lead losing at Alabama last weekend, hurting the Vols' hopes of playing for the division title. A win Saturday will make Tennessee bowl eligible for a third straight season under coach Josh Heupel. Kentucky is coming off a bye after two straight losses in ugly fashion. The Wildcats blew a 14-0 lead and lost by 18 to Missouri a week after a 51-13 pummeling at Georgia.


Kentucky running back Ray Davis, the SEC's rushing leader averaging 111.57 yards per game, against Tennessee's three-headed backfield of Jaylen Wright, Jabari Small and Dylan Sampson. Wright ranks fourth in the league averaging 84.71 yards and is a big reason Tennessee leads the league, averaging 217.29 yards rushing. Davis has the advantage of being backed by a Wildcats' defense that ranks second in the SEC, giving up just 95.71 rushing yards per game.


Tennessee: QB Joe Milton III. He threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama, and he also ran for 59 yards. Yet he couldn't move the Vols' offense in the second half as Tennessee blew a 20-7 halftime lead, giving up 27 straight points.

Kentucky: CB Maxwell Hairston. He leads the SEC with five interceptions — two returned for TDs — and is tied with teammate D'Eryk Jackson for 19th in the league with 44 tackles. Kentucky's seven picks rank second in the SEC.


This is the 80th straight season these teams are playing and 118th overall. Kentucky is the opponent Tennessee has played and beaten (82) more than any other team. ... The Vols have won 18 of the last 20 in Lexington, including the past two. The last three visits have been decided by four points or less. ... Tennessee averages four sacks a game, good for second in the SEC and fourth in FBS. ... Kentucky QB Devin Leary has passed for 14 of his 15 TDs, which rank sixth in the SEC. ... The Wildcats' SEC-high 479 penalty yards are just nine more than Tennessee. The Vols have been whistled 56 times, just two more than Kentucky. ... WR Dane Key is ninth in the SEC with 16.6 yards per catch.


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