Kentucky beats No. 18 Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time since 1984

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 1:27 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2020 at 12:43 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky’s defense came up big in the first half against No. 18 Tennessee, forcing four turnovers, including two pick six’s early in the second quarter. Kentucky carried that momentum on into the second half, closing out the Vols to win at Neyland Stadium for the first time since 1984, 34-7.

Kelvin Joseph started the party with a 41-yard pick six with 12:47 to go in the second quarter, Guarantano’s second turnover of the day.

After stringing together a good drive, Guarantano made his third mistake of the day as Jamin Davis got a pick six of his own, and 85-yard jog to make it 14-0 Kentucky with 10:33 to go in the first half.

Jeremy Pruitt pulled Guarantano after that, but J.T. Shrout threw an interception on his first throw to Tyrell Ajian, forcing Pruitt to put Guarantano back into the game.

Kentucky responded with a Matt Ruffolo field goal, but the Wildcats missed out on six after Keaton Upshaw dropped a pass from Terry Wilson in the end zone.

Tennessee responded with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The Volunteers ran the ball for 71 yards on the drive as Kentucky lost senior nose guard Quinton Bohanna on the drive.

In the third quarter, Kentucky put 10 points on the board, including a Terry Wilson to Allen Dailey one-yard touchdown throw with 7:24 left in the third quarter.

Matt Ruffolo would add his second field goal of the game late in the third quarter to make it 27-7, Kentucky. Chris Rodriguez added a two-yard rushing TD with 10:54 left in the fourth quarter after another long Kentucky drive.

Though the defense stepped up big with four takeaways, the offense did its part in the second half as well. After only accounting for 75 yards in the first half, the Cats had 221 yards in the second half.

The Wildcats also had six different ball carriers, led by Chris Rodriguez with 13 carries, 73 yards and a touchdown. Kentucky racked up 189 yards on the ground.

Kentucky moves to 2-2 with the win while dropping the Vols to 2-2 as well. The Cats hit the road to take on Missouri on October 24 at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network. The game was originally supposed to be played on October 31, but the SEC schedule changed moved the Missouri game up to October 24 and Georgia-Kentucky back to October 31.

Tennessee’s schedule doesn’t get any easier. They host No. 2 Alabama in the CBS primetime game at 3:30 p.m. on WYMT next Saturday.

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