LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky hasn’t won in Knoxville, Tenn., since 1984, but coach Mark Stoops is more worried about what awaits the Wildcats on Saturday.
Tennessee’s season has been characterized by a turnstile of injuries and disappointments, but Stoops feels the Wildcats are facing the Volunteers near their best. Tennessee is back in the SEC East race and Kentucky no longer has hope of facing a team without anything to play for.
“For them to mentally and physically heal up and kind of hit the reset button, they certainly look like they were fresh and ready to come out last week,” Stoops said. “I’m sure they are prepared to have a strong finish. So, we’ll have our hands full.”
Kentucky remains in the contention for the East, but the Wildcats need help. Stoops’ squad needs a win over Tennessee coupled with Florida losses at home against South Carolina and on the road at LSU.
Tennessee has combined for more than 100 points in its last two wins over Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to secure their first bowl bid since 2010, and their first win against Tennessee under Stoops.
“You can see even through some adversity and injuries, they have plenty of great talent on that team and again, they put a lot of stress on you on both sides of the ball and special teams,” Stoops said. “We’ll have our hands full, but we are excited about our prep and excited about the opportunity here this weekend.”