October 21, 2020

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Kentucky at #18 Tennessee Preview, Picks, and Prediction – 10/17/20

by Zack Lambert

October 15th, 2020

Kentucky at #18 Tennessee

Spread: Tennessee (-6)

Moneyline: Kentucky (+190); Tennessee (-230)

O/U: 45.5

Time and Location: 12:00 ET, Knoxville, Tennessee

Kentucky (1-2)

Kentucky took part in one of the worst college football games you’ll ever see last Saturday. The 24-2 affair was flatly not worth watching and hardly qualified as football in general. Kentucky’s 24 points came on a gargantuan 157 total yards. Terry Wilson did very little in the passing game, connecting on 40% of his passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The run game was better, but not much. Their 84 rushing yards clearly propelled this team forward and the Christopher Rodriguez Jr. touchdown made the game 14-0.

The defense has some ridiculous numbers but that doesn’t mean much when you’re playing Mississippi State. The Bulldogs passed for 275 yards on 70 attempts, rushing just 14 times for 20 yards. Kentucky was smoked in the passing game and looked really bad, but luckily K.J. Costello was not to be outdone. The Kentucky defense picked off six passes and only a couple were really nice plays by the defenders. One of the passes went for a touchdown, but the bigger picture indicates that Kentucky was really bad. The game should have been a lot closer and with an offense operating like that I don’t expect there to be very many opportunities in future games.

Tennessee (2-1)

Tennessee fans probably felt pretty good through the first half of the Georgia game last Saturday as they led through the first half, 21-17. However, after the Bulldogs rattled off 27 straight things probably got pretty somber around Rocky Top. Tennessee were unable to crack the Georgia defense in the second half. A rushing attack that was one of the best in the country through two games was obliterated, going for a single yard on the evening. Jarrett Guarantano actually played pretty well this weekend and connected at a respectable rate on his passes. He did get picked but Tennessee will take 215 yards and two touchdowns on Georgia in exchange for that turnover. When Georgia turned up the heat, though, they got whatever they wanted including five sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.

The defense really struggled with the Georgia attack. The Bulldogs are flatly better than they were last season and Tennessee couldn’t handle it. The line was whipped by the offensive line and only sacked Stetson Bennett IV once. Tennessee did pick up a pair of fumbles but just couldn’t stop Georgia from moving the ball. Bennett passed at will and of course Georgia smoked the Vols on the ground. I don’t think this game said as much about the Tennessee attack as it says about the Georgia offense.

Analysis and Pick

Things are going to get back to normal this week for the Tennessee offense after getting mauled by Georgia. The run attack is going to get back to normal where they’re stuffing the ball between the tackles and if Guarantano was for real at all, he’ll have a good week as well. Kentucky’s defense was smoked all game by Mississippi State despite the six interceptions and will be beaten by a more conservative Vols attack.

When possession is flipped I still expect another hammering. Kentucky’s offense put out one of the worst college football performances I’ve ever seen. Tennessee will relish the chance to attack the vulnerable offense and should handle them easily. Take Tennessee to cover the spread.