Ahead of Saturday’s collision between Kentucky and Tennessee, Vols cornerback Alontae Taylor made it clear how important this weekend’s game is to the Tennessee locker room.

As you can see in the video below, Taylor stoked the flames of the rivalry with the Wildcats by saying the Vols can’t lose:

“It means a lot,” said the senior defensive back. “You don’t lose to Kentucky. We didn’t have that happen last year. I was watching a video last night when we had the goal line stop against Kentucky at Kentucky and it kind of gave me chills. I was like, ‘That’s who we are.’ This game is personal. You see a lot of things on social media, how they’re angry and this and that, they’re gonna win out these last however many games they have, but we’re coming off a bye week, we’re ready to play and show the world that teams can actually have success after their bye week. A lot of teams come off their bye week and kind of fail a little bit but not us.”

Taylor has been a part of the Volunteer program since 2018. During that time, Tennessee is 2-1 against the Wildcats. In 2019, when these two last met in Lexington, Tennessee won 17-13.

But Kentucky took last year’s meeting in a drubbing, 34-7. The Cats began this season on a tear but have dropped back-to-back games after starting 6-0. After climbing as high as No. 11 in the AP Poll, Kentucky lost 30-13 to Georgia before a bye. It followed up the off week with another off week of sorts in a 31-17 loss to Mississippi State on the road.

Tennessee is also coming off back-to-back losses, 31-26 to then-No. 13 Ole Miss at home on Oct. 16 and 52-24 to then-No. 4 Alabama on the road on Oct. 23. The Vols sit at 4-4 on the season, 2-3 in SEC play.

No. 18 Kentucky (6-2, 4-2 SEC) plays host to Tennessee on Saturday with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Read More

Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.