Tennessee looks to keep its College Football Playoff aspirations alive against a Kentucky team desperate for some revenge. The Wildcats take on the Vols Saturday at 7 p.m. ET in Neyland Stadium. The game will be shown on ESPN.

Tennessee vs. Kentucky preview

Kentucky is looking to derail Tennessee’s perfect season on Saturday.

The Vols have won all but 3 matchups against the Wildcats since 1984, but this may be the toughest Kentucky team they’ve faced yet. The Wildcats have an NFL arm at quarterback, one of the conferences best running backs and a stout defense. Not to mention, the Wildcats have very, very little to lose.

And you don’t want to be on the opposing side of that. Tennessee fans who are overlooking the Wildcats — maybe don’t. This one is going to be a battle.

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That being said, this game still favors the Vols. Not a team in the country has shown it can slow down Tennessee’s high-octane offense this year. The Vols routed LSU and put 52 on Alabama, after all. Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt and a strong offensive line have the Vols looking very dangerous heading into November.

About those 52-points against Alabama – The Vols also gave up 49 points to the Crimson Tide in the process. It may be Alabama, but Tennessee’s defense has struggled with offenses that have a pulse this year. The Wildcats are not Alabama, but they are slowly putting more and more points on the board as the season progresses.

A good chunk of the reason why is star RB Chris Rodriguez. The uber-talented back was suspended for the first few games of the season, but has put up 395 yards rushing in 3 games since his return.

Add that to a ferocious passing attack from the right arm of Levis and the Wildcats can dance with any defense, especially one ranked No. 103 in the nation in total yardage allowed.

Or so it would seem. See, Tennessee’s struggles on defense originate from a battered, weak secondary. Its rush defense is among the best in the SEC, though, still not allowing a single rusher over 150 yards in one game. Most are kept well under that.

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Not to mention, the Vols’ defense will be playing with over 100,000 fans on their side. The Wildcats have to drown the noise out Saturday under the lights or their dreams of an upset are already all but finished.

Tennessee vs. Kentucky prediction

This game is interesting enough. It would be a lot more interesting if it was in Lexington or a neutral site.

The Vols have gashed teams in Neyland this year, and it’s hard to imagine that changing in Week 9. Tennessee’s offense is just too much to stop – Kentucky’s only chance of winning is keeping up and hoping they’ll trip along the way.

Prediction: Tennessee 45, Kentucky 31