The Tennessee Volunteers’ (7-3, 3-3 SEC) aspirations for an SEC East crown remained intact against Kentucky on Saturday.
Led by quarterback Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee rushed for 376 yards in its 49-36 blowout of the Wildcats. The senior finished the game with five total touchdowns for the third time this season.
Kentucky opened its first offensive possesion with 85 yards rushing on two plays, the first a 75-yard keeper from junior quarterback Stephen Johnson. On the next play, sophomore running back Stanley “Boom” Williams scored from 10 yards out.
From that point forward, it was all Vols, who have now win six straight against the Wildcats.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Josh Smith got the scoring going for Tennessee, catching a wide-open 24-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with just under 11 minutes to go in the first quarter. Dobbs scored on a one-yard run near the end of the quarter to give the Vols a 14-10 lead. From that point foward, the orange and white never trailed.
Tennessee dominated the second half, despite just outscoring the Wildcats 28-23. Josh Malone caught his eighth touchdown pass of the season on a perfectly executed flea flicker. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara — in his first game since Oct. 15 against Alabama — scored a pair of impressive touchdown runs. Kamara finished the game with 128 yards on only 10 carries. Dobbs also carried the ball 14 times, gaining 147 yards.
Defensively, Tennessee didn’t have much luck stopping the Wildcat ground game either, as Kentucky rushed for 443 yards and gained 635 yards of total offense. However, the orange and white forced two critical Wildcat turnovers and held strong in the red zone, forcing three field goals and a fumble.
Florida maintained its razor-thin lead in the SEC East with a win over South Carolina. The Gators will travel to Baton Rouge to take on LSU next week.
The Vols will host their final home game of the year next Saturday when they take on the Missouri Tigers.
Edited by Nathan Odom
Featured image by Sumner Gilliam