June 23, 2024

Vols to watch for against Kentucky

For the first time in a long time, Tennessee’s game against Kentucky has major SEC East implications. Here are some Vols to watch for as Tennessee looks to keep its division title hopes alive.

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 01, 2016 - wide receiver Jauan Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics

In Week 11 of the college football season, the Volunteers will face off against the Wildcats of Kentucky. In what has been a wild season so far, this game could end up deciding the winner of the SEC East. With major consequences on the line, who are some Vols to keep an eye on?

John Kelly, Running Back

Anyone that has watched the Vols play in the past few weeks can clearly see one thing — John Kelly is a bad, bad man. The sophomore runs with passion and anger. He posted his career-long run last week with a huge 73-yard touchdown in the first quarter against Tennessee Tech. Expect to see him get the majority of the carries in this week’s matchup due to Alvin Kamara still not being 100 percent healthy. Against Kentucky’s defense — which is allowing nearly 200 yards rushing per game — Kelly could very well see his career high rushing yards in a game.

Derek Barnett, Defensive End

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at this point that there is no offensive lineman in the nation that can block Derek Barnett. As a junior, he is only three sacks away from tying Reggie White’s career sack record of 32. Barnett posted three sacks two weeks ago against South Carolina, and though he didn’t have one last week against Tennessee Tech, he will be eager to introduce himself to Stephen Johnson — Kentucky’s quarterback.

Alvin Kamara, Running Back

Although he may be limited due to ongoing injury recovery, fans should expect to see flashes of vintage Kamara. The redshirt junior has shown what he can do when given the opportunity, he waited for his time and now it’s here again. Even though it may take him another week to return as the starter, Kamara could once again be the X-factor of the Volunteer offense this Saturday. Depending on Kamara’s confidence in his knee, it is a big possibility that each Tennessee back goes for over 100 all-purpose yards.

Jauan Jennings, Wide Receiver

Jennings — a sophomore from Murfreesboro — has proven several times this season that he is, without a doubt, one of the best athletes and playmakers on this Tennessee team. He almost brings back memories of Cordarrelle Patterson, in the sense that he almost always makes a play when the ball is in his hands. He’s right up there with Kamara in terms of electrifying level of play. Kentucky will not have the tools to stop Jennings, and if Dobbs can keep his eyes downfield, then Jennings could very well play a large role in the passing game.

Edited by Adam Milliken

Featured image by Donald Page, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics