Back Hot Read: Defense Leads ‘Cats to Rare Win at UT

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Hot Read: Defense Leads ‘Cats to Rare Win at UT

By BJ Bennett
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Kentucky wins 34-7 in Knoxville.

1. Winning in Knoxville for the first time since 1984, Kentucky has has a statement win to boost its early season profile. Led by the Wildcats' defense, which scored the first two touchdowns of the game, this was a contest that Kentucky won convincingly. The victory also adds momentum to what has been a notable couple of weeks for the Wildcats. After losing to Auburn and losing to Ole Miss by one-point in overtime, Kentucky, beating Mississippi State and the Volunteers, has now won consecutive games over teams who have been nationally ranked and done so with dominant defensive performances.

2. About that defense. Kentucky opened Saturday's scoring with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown from Kelvin Joseph and an 85-yard pick-six from Jamin Davis on consecutive Tennessee drives. In all, the Wildcats held the Volunteers to just 287 total yards and forced four turnovers. At this point, Kentucky is playing defense as well as any team in the country.

3. With regards to the pass defense, specifically, the Wildcats have a remarkable nine interceptions the past two games. After picking off Mississippi State's K.J. Costello four times and Will Rogers twice, Kentucky promptly interecepted Jarrett Guarantano twice and J.T. Shrout once. The Wildcats led the SEC in pass defense a year ago and may be even better this season.

4. Yards were hard to come by in the game, but quarterback Terry Wilson was proficient and running back Christopher Rodriguez, Jr. was productive for the Wildcats. Wilson completed 12-of-15 passes, did not turn the football over, and essentially put the game out of reach with a short touchdown throw to Allen Daily, Jr. Rodriguez put the exclamation point on the performance with a fourth quarter score.

5. After winning a notable eight games in a row, Tennessee now has a losing streak entering next Saturday's game with Alabama. Stabilizing the quarterback situation, meaning limited turnovers and creating more big plays, are obvious priorities.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports