Cats have all eyes on the Vols as Georgia looms on the horizon


Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Josh Ali (6) walks off the field during the Kentucky vs. Tennessee football game on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 17-13. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Barkley Truax

UK wide receiver Josh Ali and offensive lineman Darian Kinnard were all business talking to the media this week.

Kentucky hasn’t defeated Tennessee in Knoxville since 1984, but that streak isn’t something the Cats are worried about as they prepare for the Vols.

“It’s not that big of a deal; snapping a streak – it’s about going in and doing our job,” Kinnard said. “It’s back to business.”

Kinnard is from Tennessee, but says there’s nothing special about playing in his hometown team’s stadium. No matter his ties, he’s coming back to secure a Wildcat victory.

Ali felt the same.

“It’s just another game. We have a long schedule and a big schedule,” he said. “We play some pretty good teams and they’re one of them; so, we’re just focused on this game, like we’ve done every other game.”

Tennessee’s biggest strength defensively comes from their front four linemen and their three linebackers. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran spoke on Tennessee’s front seven and how they will likely bring pressure on UK’s offensive. Kinnard elaborated, saying that every team in the conference is good, talented and everything is earned.

“This is the SEC, everybody’s big, no one’s scared of nobody. You line up and play. If you get beat a play, you get beat a play,” Kinnard said. “If you want to play, you want to play but it could turn around any second.”

“Whoever wins, wins. You just got to suck it up until next year when you get back at them. Simple.”

Regardless of the outcome, the Cats have a big challenge ahead of them next week in the form of No. 3 Georgia. They can’t get caught looking ahead if they want to claim victory this week, but one things is for sure; win or lose, Kentucky won’t look back.