Get to know your opponent: Kentucky Wildcats

Butch Jones says whether Cam Sutton and Alvin Kamara will play against Kentucky will be a gametime decision. Both players are practicing this week.

KNOXVILLE - The Tennessee Volunteers look to keep their hopes of appearing in an SEC championship game alive during Saturday’s home game against the Kentucky Wildcats.

Saturday’s contest at Neyland Stadium is the second of a three-game homestand for the Vols.

Even though Tennessee (6-3, 2-3 SEC) is currently ranked fifth in the SEC East, ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Vols the best chance to win the division at 49 percent.

Kentucky (5-4, 4-3 SEC) is ranked second in the SEC East behind Florida. However, ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Wildcats a 1 percent chance to with the division.

More: SEC football standings

Here’s what Vols fans need to know about the Wildcats headed into Saturday’s game:

Overview: Kentucky had its three-game winning streak snapped in a 27-24 home loss to Georgia last Saturday.

Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops is in his fourth year with the program.

 

Date: Nov. 12

Game Time: Noon ET

TV: SEC Network

Site: Neyland Stadium

 

Nickname: Wildcats

2016 Record: 5-4 (4-3 SEC)

Coach: Mark Stoops

Series against UT: Tennessee has a 78-24-9 record in the series against Kentucky.

The Vols have won four straight against the Wildcats, and 30 of the last 31 games between the two schools.

Last season, the Vols beat the Wildcats 52-21.

Tennessee hasn’t lost to Kentucky since Nov. 26, 2011.

The Wildcats’ last victory over the Vols at Neyland Stadium came in a 17-12 contest on Nov. 24, 1984.

 

Things to know about the Wildcats:

1. A win makes Kentucky bowl eligible for the first time since 2010: A victory would give Kentucky five SEC wins for the first time since 1977.

This season marks the first time the Wildcats have had four wins in league play since 2006, and just the second time since 1999.

2. Butch Jones vs. Mark Stoops: Jones has a 3-0 record against Stoops with the three victories coming in the last three seasons.

Jones and Stoops are the longest-tenured coaches in the SEC East. Both coaches are in their fourth seasons with their respective programs.

Graph: How Butch Jones compares to Mark Stoops

 

3. Kentucky ranks 124th out of 128 FBS teams in turnover margin: The Wildcats have committed 22 turnovers on nine interceptions and 13 fumbles lost.

4. The Wildcats rank fifth in the SEC in rushing yardage: Kentucky averages 215.8 rushing yards per game this season.

Sophomore running back Stanley "Boom" Williams (898 rushing yards) and freshman running back Benny Snell Jr. (775 rushing yards) have combined for 1,673 rushing yards this season. The duo needs 206 more yards to break the school record for combined rushing yards by a pair of players.

5. Kentucky ranks 12th in the SEC in passing yards: The Wildcats average 174.6 passing yards per game.

Junior quarterback Stephen Johnson is 93-for-166 passing (56 percent) for 1,231 yards with seven touchdown passes and four interceptions.

Junior wide receivers Jeff Badet (22 receptions) and Garrett Johnson (27 receptions) are Stephen Johnson's favorite targets.

6. Sophomore linebacker Jordan Jones averages nine tackles per game: Jones has made 81 tackles, which ranks third among all SEC defenders. He ranks fourth in the nation in solo tackles, and 33rd in total tackles per game.

Jones has a team-high eight quarterback hurries.

Kentucky started the season 1-2, but has gone 4-2 in its last six games. The Wildcats defense has improved statistically in the six-game span.

Defensive stats First three games Last six games
Rushing Yards/Game 243 176.3
Passing Yards/Game 285 198
Total offense yards/game 528 374.3
Points/game 43.7 23.8
Third Down Conversion 0.577 0.363

 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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