The Tennessee Volunteers soundly defeated the visiting Kentucky Wildcats in a decisive 50-16 route before a sellout capacity crowd of more than 102,000 at Neyland Stadium. The Wildcats were hoping for their sixth win of the season which would have secured them bowl eligibility. The Wildcats have been winless at Neyland Stadium since 1984.
The Vols, fresh off a victory over the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, was seeking a fifth win of the season. Coach Butch Jones praised his team in the postgame interview.
“Any win is a good win. We’ll take it every way, shape, form… This is the best college football conference in America and it’s a grind week in and week out. So any way you win is very special in this conference.”
Kentucky took an early lead in Saturday’s game scoring a field goal to make the score 3-0. But the Vols quickly responded with a touchdown by Von Pearson. The extra point by Aaron Medley was good making the score 7-3 in favor of the Vols. With 5:07 left in the first quarter, Brain Randolph intercepted a pass running 23 yards to score, medley kicked the extra point making the score 14-3.
In the second quarter, Pearson received a pass from Joshua Dobbs to run in a touchdown. Medley’s extra point kick was good elevating the Vols to 20. With 8:31 left in the quarter, Medley scored a field goal from the 38-yard line making the score 23-3.
With 4:09 left in the quarter, Dobbs ran in a 9-yard touchdown followed by an extra point by Medley which increased the Vols lead to 30-3. The Wildcats responded with a touchdown cutting the deficit by 7. In the waning seconds of the half, Medley scored another field goal to give the Vols a commanding 33-10 lead. Kentucky picked up a field goal with 14 seconds left in the half making the score 33-13.
In the third quarter Tennessee turned up the heat scoring with two touchdowns by Jason Croom and Jalen Hurd. Medley scored both extra points and a field goal during the third. Kentucky’s Austin MacGinnis kicked a field goal making the score 50-16. Both teams were scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Tennessee will play Missouri next week in their last home game of the season and Vanderbilt in a road game on Nov. 29. The Vols (5-5) need one more victory to become bowl eligible.