Kentucky (1-2) at No. 18 Tennessee (2-1), Saturday at noon ET (SEC Network).
Line: Tennessee by 6.
Series record: Tennessee leads 81-25-9.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Kentucky desperately needs to build some momentum before hosting No. 3 Georgia, while Tennessee wants to start a two-game home stand with a win considering No. 2 Alabama visits next. This is a battle between teams working to finish at least third in the SEC East.
Tennessee QB Jarrett Guarantano vs. Kentucky’s pass defense. After two games without a takeaway, the Wildcats tied for the second-most in school history with six against Mississippi State’s Air Raid offense. Linebackers picked off three, including a pick-six clincher and Josh Paschal’s 76-yard return to set up another TD. Do those Wildcats show up or revert to the group that allowed 21 unanswered points to Ole Miss?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kentucky: RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. Second in rushing to mobile QB Terry Wilson with 184 yards and three TDs on 33 carries, the sophomore had a career-high 133 yards and two scores against Ole Miss. He helped Kentucky rush for 408 overall and finish with three 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time in the modern era.
Tennessee: LB Deandre Johnson. The SEC's sack leader with 3 1/2 sacks was ejected for targeting midway through the first quarter of the Vols' loss to Georgia. Having him around should provide a boost for the defense.
FACTS & FIGURES
Tennessee has beaten Kentucky more than any other opponent, including 17 straight in Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers have won 33 of the last 35 games in this series. ... Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is 1-6 against Tennessee. ... Kentucky's last win in Knoxville was 1984 where Tennessee is 43-10-6 all-time. ... Kentucky held Mississippi State to 20 yards rushing. ... Kentucky P Max Duffy is tied for second nationally in FBS averaging 48.1 yards per punt. ... Kentucky leads the SEC and is fifth nationally with six interceptions. ... Kentucky leads the SEC and is 19th nationally averaging 212.3 yards rushing per game. ... Tennessee has won nine of its last 11 games but snapped an SEC-best eight-game winning streak with a 44-21 loss to Georgia last week. Tennessee has won its last two games after a loss under coach Jeremy Pruitt. ... Tennessee is tied for the FBS and SEC lead with two defensive touchdowns this season.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25