The 18th ranked Wildcats look to return to the win column with a win over the Tennessee Volunteers. The Cats have had a rough two-game skid after losses to Georgia and Mississippi
State on the road. Tennessee will be a game similar to Mississippi State. The Vols have gradually
improved over the season and their offense is strong. Will the Cats have enough to stay ranked?
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee’s quarterback, will be a familiar face for Kentucky. Hooker was
the quarterback for Virginia Tech when the Cars beat them 37-30 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.
Hooker has put together a very solid season. He’s passed for 1,578 yards with 17 touchdowns
and two interceptions. Plus, he’s added 416 yards on the ground, so the Cats must prepare for the
dual threat. Cedric Tillman and Velus Jones Jr. have been great for the Vols as Tillman has 446
yards and Jones Jr. with 453. Both combine for 8 touchdowns and Javonta Payton has caught 5
touchdowns catches for the year. The defense will definitely have their hands full.
The biggest concern for me in this game is if Kentucky will get through a game without an
interception or a fumble. The game against Mississippi State was ruined due to Chris Rodriguez
Jr.’s butterfingers and Levis’s horrible readings on passes. If the Cats want to improve to 7-2, they
must win the turnover battle. The defense should do fine, if the offense can put some sustained drives together to give them a rest. An added benefit would also be to keep UT’s offense on the sidelines. The defense got worn down last game because the offense kept turning the ball over. We can only afford a single turnover in this game if we want to win.
I think this will be a bounce back game for Kentucky. They should be ready and focused, but an unfocused team will only result in the third straight loss. I have faith that the team will bounce back and win 28-21. It will be an ugly win, but Chris Rodriguez Jr. will get bacon track and lead the Wildcats on offense. Josh Paschal is going to lead the defense on Saturday as well, holding the Vols when it matters most. Let’s hope the dream season doesn’t die this weekend, GO CATS!
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Devin Hall is a columnist for MESPORTS digital. A University Louisville graduate who loves good music, good games and good times. He can be reached at DHall@maineventsports101.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mista_Hall25