It seems like almost every year, the annual Tennessee-Kentucky football game is a night-time kick-off. That won’t be any different this season.
The kick-off time and TV channel info were announced for this year’s Tennessee vs. Kentucky game on Monday, and the Vols and Wildcats will be playing under the lights in Lexington on November 9th. Kick-off will be at 7:30 PM Eastern, and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
Last year, the Vols and Wildcats kicked off at 3:30 PM Eastern for their annual match-up. But the last time the two teams played in Lexington in 2017 saw the game kick-off at 7:30 PM just like this year.
The Vols have dominated Kentucky in the all-time series between the two teams. Tennessee is 80-25-9 against the Wildcats, and they’ve played more games against Kentucky (114) than any other team in school history. Their 74.1 percent winning percentage over the Wildcats is UT’s best winning percentage over any team in the SEC.
While Tennessee has historically had their way against Kentucky, the Wildcats won the last time the two teams played in Lexington. Kentucky beat the Vols 29-26 in 2017, holding off the Vols’ comeback efforts in the second half. That game is notorious for UT’s Hail Mary at the end of the game that ended up two yards short of the end zone.
Aside from that blunder, Tennessee hasn’t lost in Lexington since 2011 and hold a 37-15-3 all-time record against Kentucky on the road.
The Wildcats own two wins over the Vols over the last eight meetings after losing every game against Tennessee from 1985-2010.
Last year, Tennessee upset a top-15 Kentucky squad in Neyland Stadium. The Wildcats were just outside the top 10 of the AP Poll at No. 12 overall, and the Vols were home underdogs for the game. But Tennessee did what they usually do when the two teams play in Knoxville: win.
Tennessee handed the Wildcats a 24-7 loss in Neyland Stadium, marking the Vols’ 18th-straight win over Kentucky in Knoxville.
This year, both the Vols and Wildcats will be battling for bowl eligibility when the two teams meet. Tennessee is currently 3-5 and will host UAB for homecoming this upcoming weekend before taking on Kentucky. The Wildcats have this weekend off after securing a 29-7 win against Missouri this past weekend to improve to 4-4 on the year.
Both teams have dealt with injuries to their quarterbacks, and both teams have featured their star wide receiver at quarterback this season. For Kentucky, Lynn Bowden has been heavily involved as their makeshift QB the last few weeks. Starter Terry Wilson is sidelined with a season-ending injury, and backup Sawyer Smith has been banged up and held out as well. Bowden had filled in admirably playing emergency quarterback, starting the last three games and completing 12 of his 33 passes for 149 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions while racking up 499 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the process. He’s helped lead Kentucky to wins over Arkansas and Missouri, though the offense was shut out against Georgia.
The Vols have seen starting quarterback Brian Maurer exit early from all three of his starts due to injuries, and he didn’t play this past weekend in Tennessee’s 41-21 victory over South Carolina. Jarrett Guarantano suffered an injury against the Gamecocks and will begin this week of practice limited after having surgery on his left wrist. Receiver Jauan Jennings took snaps as a wildcat quarterback against South Carolina, aiding Guarantano and redshirt freshman JT Shrout.