for the Dawgnation is, of course, the one being played in Lexington, Kentucky.
Statistically speaking, it looks good for UK, at least in terms of how the Kentucky offense could fare against the Vol defense.
One troubling item, though, for UK is revealed in the ‘Cats’ month to month offensive yardage splits. Kentucky has seen its production decline significantly from September (492 ypg) to November (324 ypg). Tennessee’s offensive production has declined somewhat as well, but nowhere near on the level of Kentucky’s.
That suggests a team that’s getting worn out on the offensive side of the ball. That would seem to be confirmed by some of the comments appearing in the papers that cover UK football. All of that certainly appeared to be the case in the second half of the Georgia game, as the Kentucky line had problems handling the Dawg pass rush, UK couldn’t run the ball effectively and Woodson made some questionable on-field decisions. Even going +3 in turnover margin didn’t help.
Tennessee, on the other hand, after that comeback win against Vandy, feels pretty confident about itself.
The gameplans for each team look pretty obvious. For Tennessee, shut down the Kentucky running game to make the ‘Cats one-dimensional on offense and grind out the game on the UK defense. Kentucky has to hope it can match what Cal, Florida and Alabama did, which was to use the passing game to set up the run, along with some timely special teams play, and keep the Vols on their heels.
Kentucky has the weapons to make that work. And it’s not like Tennessee has looked like a world beater on the road this year – those three losses came against teams that have lost 13 games themselves so far. But the big question is whether the Wildcats have enough gas in the tank to end a 22 game losing streak against Tennessee. Going by what happened in Athens, you’d have to be skeptical of that.