KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The heart of football season has arrived with the final weekend of games in October, and Tennessee is still looking for a touchdown this month.
With the Vols need to use tricks to treat their fans to a win at Kentucky in Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game at Kroger Field?
The SEC Country Tennessee media panel is split with their picks on the annual grudge match between Tennessee and its Big Blue neighbors to the north.
The Wildcats are a 5.5-point favorite despite having lost 31 of the past 32 meetings in the annual series.
The Vols will be playing without bell cow tailback John Kelly, who was suspended after receiving a misdemeanor drug citation on Tuesday night.
Kelly has accounted for 43 percent of Tennessee’s offense this season.
Here are the SEC game picks from Tennessee reporters Mike Griffith, and Blake Morgan, along with special contributor Dustin Dopirak and Rocky Top podcast host Josh Ward.
Tennessee media football picks
Arkansas at Ole Miss (-3.5)
Dustin’s pick: Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 17
Blake’s pick: Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 27
Josh’s pick: Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 27
Mike’s pick: Ole Miss 21, Arkansas 17
Georgia (-14.5) at Florida (Jacksonville)
Dustin’s pick: Georgia 35, Florida 13
Blake’s pick: Georgia 42, Florida 20
Josh’s pick: Georgia 31, Florida 14
Mike’s pick: Georgia 38, Florida 10
Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-7)
Dustin’s pick: South Carolina 28, Vanderbilt 19
Blake’s pick: South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 14
Josh’s pick: South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 20
Mike’s pick: South Carolina 20, Vanderbilt 12
Missouri (-12) at UConn
Dustin’s pick: Missouri 35, UConn 28
Blake’s pick: Missouri 35, UConn 17
Josh’s pick: Missouri 41, UConn 24
Mike’s pick: Missouri 38, UConn 17
Mississippi State (-1) at Texas A&M
Dustin’s pick: Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 27
Blake’s pick: Mississippi State 35, Texas A&M 31
Josh’s pick: Mississippi State 34, Texas A&M 31
Mike’s pick: Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 36
Tennessee at Kentucky (-5.5)
Dustin’s pick: Kentucky 21, Tennessee 16
“Without John Kelly, I just don’t see where Tennessee’s points come from. Not that this is a great Kentucky defense, but the Vols aren’t getting much from anyone else.”
Blake’s pick: Tennessee 28, Kentucky 21
“Tennessee finally finds the end zone as quarterback Jarrett Guarantano shows he is the future of the Vols program. Tennessee just has more talent than Kentucky.”
Josh’s pick: Kentucky 20, Tennessee 17
“Tennessee has too many issues to fix entering the Kentucky game, and the absence of John Kelly won’t help.”
Mike’s pick: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 23
“Ty Chandler is a better tailback than most realize, and the Vols have a better defense than scores have shown.”
Season picks record straight-up
Season picks vs. spread