How are you on this fine Turkey Day? I have starved myself since Tuesday and could eat the table and everything on it. Just trying to make room for the fine fixin’s of cornbread casserole, cranberry souffle, gravy, country ham and homemade mashed potatoes that Maw Maw makes. Time to get you prepared for UT and the low down dirty snitches with this week’s 10 things to know about the contest…..
1. 25 years of misery could come to an end in Knoxville this season. UK’s current 25 game losing streak to the Vols dates back to 1894. Ok, 1984. Perry Stevenson was yet to be born if that puts it into terms for you, 4 years later. Joker Phillips remembers that year well, he was a WR on the last winning UK side when the Cats beat UT 17-14. Since then the Cats have been outscored by 517 total points. The streak is college football’s current all-time losing stretch for one team verse another.
2. The Vols have been through two QB’s this season. Matt Simms, son of Phil (whom my father played/grew up with) and brother of Chris, started the first 6 games before being benched for freshmen Tyler Bray. Bray has had a fantastic 3 game season, throwing 10 TD’s in consecutive starts.
3. UK sits at 6-5, 2-5 SEC and is officially bowl eligible while the Vols have a lot at stake as well, still fighting for a bowl bid at 5-6, 2-5 in conference play. With a win the Cats are projected to fall into the Gator bowl. With a loss the Cats could make the trip back to Nashville. UK can tie for 3rd in the SEC East with a Georgia loss and a Kentucky win.
4. Randall Cobb, from Alcoa, TN just outside of Knoxville, knows what he has to do in possibly the last time he suits up for a regular season game for the Cats: “I’ve got nothing to say this week… I’m going to talk with my pads. It’s time to play ball.” Cobb is just 263 all-purpose yards away from the SEC record for the single-season all-purpose yardage record set by Arkansas’ Darren McFadden with 2,310 in 2007.
5. Defensive Lineman Mark Crawford has been suspended for the rest of the season for a violation of team rules. Cornerback Martavius Neloms will be suspended for the first half of Saturday’s game because of an NCAA ejection rule. For UT, sophomore Montori Hughes is suspended for for violating the Vols’ academic policy. The Vols are extremely thin at defensive tackle and look for the Cats to run early to exploit the Vols then open it up in the air.
6. Close your eyes and listen to that annoying noise gurgling in the background. Hear it? Can you guess what it is? I don’t even want to mention what I am hearing but I am seeing a bunch of non-matching orange Starter Jackets, it sounds like, well, you can listen here.
7. Senior QB Mike Hartline has 5,408 career passing yards and needs just 157 against Tennessee to pass Bill Randsell (1983-86) for fourth place in school history. Hartline is second in the conference for TD tosses with 22. Kentucky ranks 20th nationally for passing offense, averaging 274.4 yards in the air.
8. SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Kentucky ranks 22th nationally in both scoring offense (34.7 points) per game and total offense (441.6). Quarterback Mike Hartline has completed 65.7 percent of his passes and is just 94 yards away from a 3,000-yard season. Receiver Randall Cobb is second in the nation in all-purpose yardage (186.1) and leads the Wildcats with 66 receptions. Chris Matthews has 51 catches for 812 yards and nine touchdowns. Running back Derrick Locke (719 yards) has recovered from midseason injuries and appears rejuvenated after last week’s bye. (USA Today)
9. SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Linebacker Danny Trevathan leads the SEC with 120 tackles and has 15 tackles for losses, three short of the Kentucky single-season record set by Vincent Burns in 2003. Safety Winston Guy has accumulated 34 tackles over the past two games — a mixed stat. Good because Guy is playing his best football of the season, and bad because the Wildcats would prefer fewer opponents venturing into Kentucky’s secondary. Freshman defensive tackle Donte Rumph will see increased playing time with Mark Crawford suspended for the season. Junior cornerback Anthony Mosley draws the start with Martavious Neloms suspended for the first half due to an altercation during the Vanderbilt game on Nov. 13. (USA Today)
10. Let’s win this mofo enough already! Time to bust dem low down dirty snitches!