Week 14 - Tennessee at Kentucky

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Tennessee at Kentucky

Tennessee (4-7) at Kentucky (2-9) Nov. 30 7:00, ESPNU

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Tennessee probably wouldn't be considered the worst team in the SEC if it lost to Kentucky, but it wouldn't be far off. The Vols have lost four straight and five of the last six, suffering a heartbreaker to Vanderbilt last week to kill bowl hopes, and now, once again, it's all about playing out the string and trying to find something positive going into the offseason. No, a win wouldn't mean anything to the 2014 season, but 5-7 looks a lot better than 4-8 with a loss to Kentucky.

That's not necessarily the case for Kentucky, who really could use a win to make the next several months more positive. This is really and truly a rebuilding program, but it hasn't found anything positive with just two wins over a miserable Miami University team and Alabama State from the FCS. The offense has fizzled and the defense has gotten worse, but a win over Tennessee would be a rallying point.

Why Tennessee Might Win: Finally, a team at Tennessee's size in terms of offense. The Vols are having big, big problems with the offense and its consistency, but Kentucky's attack has been even worse, with a slightly stronger passing game but nothing happening on the ground. The Tennessee defense was able to keep the Vanderbilt offense under wraps last week, and if the focus is there, it should be able to stop the UK attack cold if it can get the pass rush rolling. The Wildcat offensive line is giving up more sacks than anyone in the SEC, but …

Why Kentucky Might Win: Tennessee has no pass rush to worry about. The Vols simply don't get to the quarterback, and it's taxing the rest of the defense. How bad have things been? Tennessee has just one sack in the last four games, and considering the lack of pressure, Kentucky probably won't give up any picks. The four interceptions thrown in the loss to Vanderbilt were an aberration – the Wildcats haven't thrown a pick in six of the last seven games. Tennessee thrives on takeaways to help the middling offense, and while fumbles were an issue last week against Georgia, for the most part the team has been stingy.

Who To Watch Out For: Kentucky junior Javess Blue has been one of the bright spots for the offense, leading the team with 40 catches for 544 yards and a score with five grabs for 93 yards and a score last week against Georgia. The 6-0, 190-pound Florida native and JUCO transfer is a big play target with the 4.4 speed and hands and he's turning into a playmaker to build around for next year.

What Will Happen: Will Tennessee be interested? It was in the same situation last year and came up with a 37-17 win, but now it's on the road against a UK team that's way overdue for something positive. It'll be a war of attrition between two bad offenses, but the Vols will be a wee bit better.

Prediction: Tennessee 23 … Kentucky 17
Line: Tennessee -4 o/u: 53
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2
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