7. Big plays on special teams
Chase McGrath’s game-winning field goal after Alabama missed one secured the win for Tennessee football. Meanwhile, the Vols have been knocking on the door in the return game the past three weeks with Dee Williams breaking off quite a few large runs. Add in the fumbled opening kickoff by the LSU Tigers, and things have gone well for them.
However, a muffed punt and a blocked punt nearly cost them in their overtime win at Pitt. A week later, the Florida Gators almost came back from down 38-21 in the fourth by recovering an onside kick. Also, Chase McGrath missed an extra point against Alabama, so special teams has been a mixed bag of big plays for UT.
Kentucky, meanwhile, has a kickoff return for a touchdown on the year. However, their fluke loss to Ole Miss was due to a missed field goal and a missed extra point. As a result, they have also dealt with miscues and benefitted from big plays on special teams.
Who gets that this week? If there are no big plays, it’s an advantage for the Vols, but if Kentucky wins that battle, they can all of a sudden make this a game. Both are prone to it in both ways, so there is a great chance something happens in this one.