Tennessee Volunteers (4-5) vs Kentucky Wildcats (4-4)
Coach: Jeremy Pruitt
Tennessee Players to watch
Senior OC Brandon Kennedy (6-3/300)
In 2018, Kennedy, a transfer from Alabama, tore his ACL in early September – missing the rest of the year. And while last season was admittedly difficult for him, Kennedy said there were things he did off the field that he believes made him a better player heading into 2019. “You can be in the training room, you can watch extra film, get to know the scheme and all those types of things. You can use it to your advantage,” Kennedy noted.
Tennessee offensive line coach Will Friend praised Kennedy during his time with the Knoxville Quarterback Club on Monday afternoon. “Just got news today, as I was leaving to come over from the office, that Brandon Kennedy was named (SEC) offensive lineman of the week,” Friend said. “Good for Brandon. When you talk about a great kid, he is what you want. Already graduated, is gonna have his Masters from Tennessee soon. Graduated from Alabama, was a grad-transfer, now he’s gonna have his masters. So about the time he gets out of here, Brandon will probably be a doctor. But he is a great kid and a great leader and does everything the right way.”
Senior MLB Daniel Bituli (6-3/243)
Bituli also had the best game of his college career, collecting a career-high 15 tackles (11 solos), one tackle for loss, one quarterback hurry and one pass breakup. He also made a huge play on special teams, essentially putting away South Carolina by blocking a punt and recovering the loose ball for a touchdown with 11 minutes, 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Bituli is currently leading the team in tackles this season and led the team in tackles last year.
Senior OLB Darrell Taylor (6-4/255)
The Volunteers recently switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Taylor was moved from DE to OLB in the change over. Taylor is a disruptive defender who has 14 sacks, 20.5 TFLs, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries over his 37-game career. He has started 21 games and has the second-most forced fumbles of any active SEC player.
*Junior LG Trey Smith (6-16/337)
In 2017, Smith started all 12 games for Tennessee as a freshman, collected All-SEC Second Team and SEC All-Freshman Team honors. In 2018, Smith started the first seven games before he was shut down for the rest of the season due to blood clots. This season, Smith has been cleared to play by physicians prior to Week 1. He was named SEC Co-Offensive Lineman of the Week following Tennessee’s 20-10 win over Mississippi State (Oct 12).
Coach: Mark Stoops
Kentucky Players to watch:
*Junior WR Lynn Bowden, Jr (6-1/199)
Last year, Bowden returned five punts and scored two touchdowns – averaging 29.2 yards per return. This year, however, he’s truly become an “all-purpose” player. Bowden has 30 receptions for 348 yards; 75 rushing attempts for 598 yards; plus he’s returned four kicks and seven punts. He’s already tallied up more than 1,150 yards this year and will probably top 1,500 before it’s all over.
*Junior OC Drake Jackson (6-2/313)
On Oct. 12, the Kentucky offensive line was been named a member of the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, recognizing the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in college football. Jackson is the foundational piece of that unit. Three players have rushed for more than 300 yards (A.J. Rose, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Kavosiey Smoke) and the team is on pace for a fourth consecutive season of more than 2,000 rushing yards.
Jackson, a native of Versailles, Kentucky, started at center in all 13 games last season, giving him 20 consecutive starts. He was responsible for only one-half quarterback sack and he had 141 blocks at the point of attack, and had 33 knockdown blocks. He was a significant contributor to helping Benny Snell Jr. reach his third-consecutive 1,000-yard season, the first player in school history to accomplish that feat.
*Junior CB Brandin Echols (5-11/174)
Kentucky lost it’s entire starting defensive backfield to the NFL last year. Echols, a juco transfer from Northwest Mississippi Community College, is a physical corner with a knack for making big plays. While he doesn’t have an interception, yet, he had defended seven passes so far this year. Defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale said of Echols, ” I think (he) has got a really good skill set and when he continues to take the coaching and listens and executes his assignments, I think he’ll be a really good player.”
**Sophomore P Max Duffy (6-1/186)
Australian punter who was rated as the No. 1 punting prospect in the class of 2018 by Ray Guy, when he averaged 48 yards per punt with an average hangtime of 4.42 seconds. Currently, Duffy is averaging close to 49 yards per punt with a long of 70 yards. He’s only had 3 touchbacks so far this season. He has been named 2019 AP Midseason All-American second team.
Kroger Field – Synthetic Turf
Nov 9 | Lexington, Kentucky