LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee football is looking for a statement win to its season as it hits the road on Saturday to take on No. 18 Kentucky in Lexington.
The Vols are 81-26-9 all-time against the Wildcats and are coming off a 34-7 loss in Neyland Stadium to them last season. Tennessee is seeking their first win over a ranked team this season while trying to avoid back-to-back losses to Kentucky since 1976 and 1977.
The Vols hold a winning record on the road against Kentucky at 38-15-3.
Tennessee has not beaten a ranked team since 2018 against then-No. 12 Kentucky.
The Vols are coming into this game well-rested off a bye week and hope to have many of their key players, who have been banged up in recent weeks, healthy going into this one.
Prior to that, Tennessee has been on a two-game losing streak following losses to No. 16 Ole Miss and No, 2 Alabama.
Tennessee is tied for 17 in scoring offense in the nation. The team is guided on their offense by their rushing attack and quarterback Hendon Hooker.
The Vols rank 13 in the nation in rushing offense.
Hooker has provided quite the spark for this offense since he came in during the game against Pittsburgh earlier this year. He ranks fourth in the country in passing efficiency. Hooker has accounted for multiple touchdowns in seven straight games entering the Kentucky contest
The quarterback has been responsible for 21 touchdowns this season, with 17 of those coming through the air and four on the ground. He’s had at least one passing touchdown in seven straight games. That's the longest streak by a Vol since quarterback Tyler Bray did it in eight straight.
The defense has been playing well too. They lead the nation in tackles for loss. The unit has also been forcing turnovers, as they've recorded at least one in every game since week three against Tennessee Tech.
The Wildcats are coming off a 31-14 loss to Mississippi State last Saturday.
Kentucky is also on a two-game losing streak, as they lost to No. 1 Georgia the week prior.
They don't tend to allow their opponents a lot of points. On average, opponents only score 20.75 points per game. That ranks 31 in the nation. The team also ranks top 25 in the nation in rushing defense.
Quarterback Will Levis is coming off a game where he struggled, throwing three interceptions to Mississippi State.
The Wildcats have some weapons in running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson. Rodriguez ranks second in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards and Robinson ranks fourth in the conference in receiving yards.
Kentucky comes into this game as a -1 favorite.
Game time is at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.