Kentucky was a yard away from an improbable comeback.
Trailing for most of the second half, the Wildcats had one last shot at a come-from behind victory. Pounding the ball into the heart of the Tennessee defense, Kentucky had two plays to get one yard.
Chris Rodriguez was stuffed at the two-yard line. On the final play, Lynn Bowden had the option to toss it to Rodriguez or keep it. Bowden went for the win and was gobbled up by two Tennessee defenders.
The Wildcats dominated the Volunteers in the first quarter, bolting out to a 13-0 lead thanks to a 17-play scoring drive on the opening offensive possession that lasted 10:18, the longest drive of the Mark Stoops era. Completely controlling the game, the Cats looked like they were going to cruise to a win.
The script was completely flipped in the third quarter. Tennessee scored on its first two possessions in less time than it took Kentucky to score once in the first quarter. The Vols took their first lead of the game off an incredible Josh Palmer reception with 6:28 to play. It proved to be the fatal blow.
Kentucky had one final chance thanks to a big play from the defense. Marquan McCall recovered a fumble on the Tennessee 45-yard line with just over seven minutes to play, giving UK just enough hope for one final scoring drive. The offense did everything right except punch the ball into the end zone.
In a game decided by a battle in the trenches, the Wildcats came up short when it mattered most. Instead of building momentum into the homestretch with a season-defining win, the 2019 Wildcats remain in the doldrums, now 4-5 with three games remaining.