Given the breakdown of Tennessee football and the Kentucky Wildcats, it’s hard to believe that Kentucky should have any chance in this game Saturday. On paper, the Vols should blow them out. However, if you look at the break down of UK as a whole it’s hard to believe they have a winning record and are in the top 25.
Mark Stoops has designed a team that wins ugly, something unique for a program with lesser talent in the SEC. As a result, despite everything you see, the Vols have to take this team seriously. They are more than capable of making just enough mistakes to slip up if they aren’t careful.
As we get set to break down what is important about this game, you’ll notice for the Vols it involves a lot of exploiting matchup advantages, avoiding mistakes and not giving up big plays. Let’s flesh those out in greater detail. Here are the 10 keys between Tennessee football and Kentucky Saturday.
The factors that will help the Tennessee football Volunteers beat the Wildcats are not as similar to what’s carried them the previous few weeks.
10. Which team fumbles more?
It’s a problem that plagues both teams to a degree, but if Kentucky is going to win, they need to make this their advantage. UK and the Vols have each fumbled 11 times on the year, which is tied for No. 96 nationally in fewest fumbles. They have both lost six of those fumbles, which is tied for No. 90 nationally.
That ranking is in totals, and both have already had their bye. Simply put, they each have a fumbling problem. It almost cost UT against the Pittsburgh Panthers, and it did cost the Wildcats in their loss to to the Ole Miss Rebels. If it manifests itself in this game for either team, it will dramatically affect the outcome.
Now, the good news for both is neither is great at forcing fumbles. Tennessee football has forced five on the year, which is tied for No. 62 in most fumbles forced per game, and Kentucky has forced four, which is tied for No. 83. As a result, it’s on the teams and the mistakes they make.