Tennessee 24, Kentucky 7
What Happened: Tennessee won its 17th home game in a row against Kentucky, getting up 24-0 and hanging on from there. The Vol offense had a 10-0 lead before Marquez Callaway came up with a 39-yard touchdown grab on the final play of the first half.
Jarrett Guarantano threw his second touchdown pass of the game with a two-yarder to Dominick Wood-Anderson midway through the third, and that was all the team needed. UK only managed a 19-yard CJ Conrad touchdown catch.
What Mattered: This wasn’t Kentucky. It was sloppy, turning it over three times, managing just 262 yards of total offense, and it got down fast without any ability to come back. Tennessee did exactly what you’re supposed to do against this team. Get up, and keep pressing – make UK try to come back, because …
– Terry Wilson couldn’t come through until late. He completed 21-of-34 passes for 172 yards and a score with a pick, and Benny Snell ran 20 times for 81 yards. The UK O line struggled, though, against the Tennessee defensive front that lived in the backfield.
– Guarantano completed 12-of-20 passes for 197 yards and two scores. The Vols ran for 215 yards and averaged well over five yards per carry. By comparison to UK’s issues, it was a strong day up front for Tennessee.
What It All Means: Tennessee did what it needed to do to keep bowl hopes alive. Now, after winning two straight, the Vols have to beat either Missouri or at Vanderbilt to become bowl eligible. No matter how it happens, getting to a bowl would be a fantastic first season under Jeremy Pruitt.
– Kentucky was coming off the deflation of the loss to Georgia, but it’s still bowl eligible, and it’s still in the mix for a good bowl. However, this was a colossal misfire. If it had won, with Middle Tennessee and Louisville to close, it had a shot at going 10-2 and a New Year’s Six game. That’s gone now.
NEXT: Texas A&M 38, Ole Miss 24