Kentucky Football: 5 things to successfully take down the hated Vols

Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is sacked by Kentucky linebacker Jordan Wright
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is sacked by Kentucky linebacker Jordan Wright /
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November means action on the gridiron is ripe with teams trying to make a statement in the final weeks and Kentucky football and Tennessee are no exception when the bitter rivals meet Saturday in Lexington

The border rivals have gone nose to nose since 1893, which ranks as one of the oldest series in major college football. That’s a total of 116 games and Kentucky won the first one 56-0 and led the series till the early 1930s. However, since then it’s been mostly Orange including a 26-game winning streak from 1985-2010. Tennessee leads the overall series now 81-26-9.

Kentucky has won two of the past four meetings and they are in desperate need of winning back to back for the first time since 1976 and 1977.

The Kentucky football team desperately seeking a bounce-back victory

Ranked No. 18 in the AP and Coaches Poll as well as the College Football Playoff rankings Kentucky football is mired in a two-game losing street as are the Vols.

Kentucky after a 6-0 start has lost in consecutive weeks to No. 1 Georgia and Mississippi State which was horrific to watch. They are trying to establish themselves as a new contender in the Southeastern Conference surpassing the Orange.

Tennessee wants no part of that talk and would like nothing more than to win and sit just one game away from being bowl eligible in Josh Heupel’s first season.

Both teams want and need this but will fight till the death much like the Hatfields and McCoy dislike one another with a passion and want no part of the other stepping into their turf.

However, Kentucky can ill afford to play the way did last week and Mark Stoops was asked about that in his weekly press conference.

"“For us, it’s about going back to being who we are. One thing I didn’t like about last week, is we were definitely … they were more physical than us, and that can’t happen. They seemed to be more motivated at times, certainly more physical at times, executed better. You name it, they outplayed us and it’s up to us to get back to being who we are. I can’t control what opponents do, but I can control the way we do things, the way we go about our business in practice and how we play on Saturday.”"

Kentucky can win out and finish with an outstanding 10-2 record, but it all begins this week by beating the Vols and sending a message the team we saw the first 7 weeks was no fluke.

So just what does Kentucky need to do to win this game? Let’s take a look at 5 things.