Nov. 10, 2018
It’s crazy to think about, but in Mark Stoops’ two best season at Kentucky so far, Tennessee football beat him. The Vols have lost to Stoops twice, but neither came when he had a top 25 program. This year, Jeremy Pruitt was teasing fans about what might be possible on Rocky Top, as his team already beat a ranked Auburn Tigers team on the road.
Kentucky came into this game ranked No. 12 in both polls and with a 7-2 record. However, in a game that fans were hoping would become the program’s identity under the defensive mastermind in Pruitt, UT flat-out dominated Kentucky’s rushing attack from start to finish.
Stoops’ horizontal run team at the time was no match for the Vols’ 3-4, and Darrell Taylor had a field day, coming away with four sacks. In addition to the defense, the offense made big plays when it needed to, most notably, Jarrett Guarantano completing a hail mary touchdown pass to UK as time expired at the half to put the Vols up 17-0.
The dominating performance didn’t last, though, as the Vols lost their last two games in blowout fashion to finish 5-7. Obviously, the Pruitt upset wins were also nothing but smoke and mirrors that first year. However, at the time, it seemed to signal big things to come.