Tennessee football in unusual position of underdog against Kentucky

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Kentucky has opened as a 5.5-point favorite to beat Tennessee on Saturday night  in Lexington, Ky.

The Vols (3-4, 0-4 SEC) and the Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) both are coming off 45-7 road defeats, Tennessee losing at No. 1-ranked Alabama and Kentucky losing at Mississippi State.

It’s only the second time in the past 20 years (2007) that Kentucky has been favored to win this game.

Tennessee has won 31 of the last 32 meetings between the schools, most recently losing in 2011 by a 10-7 count under the direction of former Vols coach Derek Dooley.

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The Vols’ offense will enter the game at Commonwealth Stadium having gone 14 quarters without an offensive touchdown. It’s a streak that dates back to the second quarter of a 17-13 win over UMass on Sept. 23 at Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee’s only touchdown against Alabama came on Daniel Bituli’s 97-yard interception return.

The Vols’ only red zone trip at Alabama was the result of the special teams unit forcing a turnover on a punt return. That drive stalled at the 1-yard line after tailback John Kelly was stopped inches from the goal line.

A motion penalty on Tennessee freshman lineman Trey Smith followed, moving the ball back to the 6-yard line. After Kelly was stopped for a 1-yard gain on third down, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was intercepted on his fourth down throw.

Here’s a look back at the betting line history in the past 20 games between Tennessee and Kentucky, per the Odds Shark archives:

2016 Line: Tennessee -14, Result: Vols 49, Wildcats 36

2015 Line Tennessee -10.5, Result: Vols 52, Wildcats 21

2014 Line: Tennessee -11, Result: Vols 50, Wildcats 16

2013 Line: Tennessee -3.5, Result: Vols 27, Wildcats 14

2012 Line: Tennessee -14, Result: Vols 37, Wildcats 17

2011 Line: Tennessee -6, Result: Wildcats 10, Vols 7

2010 Line: Tennessee -2.5, Result: Vols 24, Wildcats 14

2009 Line: Tennessee -3, Result: Vols 30, Wildcats 24

2008 Line: Tennessee -4, Result: Vols 28, Wildcats 10

2007 Line: Kentucky -3, Result: Vols 52, Wildcats 50

2006 Line: Tennessee -20.5, Result: Vols 17, Wildcats 12

2005 Line: Tennessee -8.6, Result: Vols 27, Wildcats 8

2004 Line: Tennessee -22, Result: Vols 37, Wildcats 31

2003 Line: Tennessee -14, Result: Vols 20, Wildcats 7

2002 Line: Tennessee -7.5, Result: Vols 24, Wildcats 0

2001 Line: Tennessee -18.5, Result: Vols 38, Wildcats 35

2000 Line: Tennessee -20, Result: Vols 59, Wildcats 20

1999 Line: Tennessee -13, Result: Vols 56, Wildcats 21

1998 Line: Tennessee -13, Result: Vols 59, Wildcats 21

1997 Line: Tennessee   -16, Result: Vols 59, Wildcats 31

The post Tennessee football in unusual position of underdog against Kentucky appeared first on SEC Country.

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