Tennessee vs Kentucky: Keys to Victory

Tennessee vs Ole Miss
Photo Credit: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel, Knoxville News Sentinel

The Tennessee Volunteers are looking to get back in the win column vs #18 Kentucky Wildcats. The Volts have dropped their last two games against SEC West opponents Ole Miss and Alabama. The Vols play their third straight ranked game coming off a much-needed bye week. Let’s break down what Tennessee will have to do to upset the Wildcats on the road.

Force Will Levis turnovers

Photo Courtesy of Vol Football on Twitter.

Coming into this game, the Wildcats are 6-2 and coming off a loss to the unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis threw three interceptions in the loss. Kentucky led 10-0 early in the second quarter, but did not score again until the fourth quarter. This score halted a 31-0 nothing run by the Bulldogs. If the Vols are going to upset Kentucky on the road, they have to be able to give Josh Heupel’s offense extra possessions.

Play through Hooker

Photo courtesy of Vol Football on Twitter.

I’ve been very high on Hendon Hooker’s quarterback play thus far in the season. Other than a couple misreads and turnovers, Hooker has played great football. This is refreshing to see for Vol fans as they have watched four rough years of quarterbacks in Knoxville. The redshirt senior has thrown for 1,578 yards on just 166 attempts, and with a 17-2 touchdown interception ration, it is clear to see the strides he has made from his time with Virginia Tech. The legacy of Josh Heuepel’s development of quarterbacks is assured with Hooker’s play this season.

Tennessee will have to play their best game of the season to knock off the Wildcats on the road. I think they can do it as long as the win the turnover battle and Hooker continues his great quarterback play of late.

Score prediction: Tennessee 52, Kentucky 27.

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