Kentucky’s Four Keys to Victory vs. Tennessee

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky’s Four Keys to Victory vs. Tennessee


Kentucky’s Four Keys to Victory vs. Tennessee


Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky travels to Neyland Stadium today to face the third ranked Tennessee Volunteers. This is a massive game for the Wildcats. What is their path to victory? Here are the four keys to victory for the Wildcats Saturday night. 

1. Score First

Tennessee’s offense is dominant. Kentucky’s is not. Kentucky is not an offense that scores at will. If they were to score first, it puts Kentucky in a position where they can play their style of football. Running the ball with Chris Rodriguez Jr., burning time off the clock, keeping Hendon Hooker on the sideline is the path. Scoring first goes a long way in doing that. 


2. Limit Big Plays

In last year’s game, Hendon Hooker hit a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. On the next possession, he had a 72-yard touchdown. Jabari Small got into the action with a 37-yard touchdown run in the second half. There were other big plays that didn’t go for touchdowns as well. That cannot happen with such frequency on Saturday night. Tennessee is going to get big plays. Hendon Hooker and this offense is too good not to get big plays. However, they cannot go for touchdowns. Limit the big plays, force them to kick field goals, and that will go a long way towards a Kentucky victory. 

3. No Special Teams Mistakes

Kentucky has had a rough season when it comes to special teams. Against Florida, they had a snap go over the punter’s head that resulted in a safety, a botched snap on a point after try and couldn’t convert, and they missed a field goal. Against Ole Miss, another field goal was missed, and an extra point was blocked. It ended up being the difference between a win and a loss. In the South Carolina debacle, a punt was blocked, and another field goal was missed. Common theme is that special teams mistakes often lead to losses. Especially when you play a good team. If Kentucky has common mistakes against Tennessee, it could get ugly early in Neyland.

4. Will Levis Needs To Be Elite

I will keep this short and sweet. Will Levis is going to be a first round draft choice. He needs to show it on Saturday. For the most part, he played well in last year’s game, but an untimely pick-six was the difference in the game. If he plays the best game of the year, the Wildcats will be put in a great position to win. 

Kentucky takes on the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN from Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

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