For the final time this regular season, Coach Joker Phillips sat down with the folks at UK’s official blog to go over what he believes are the keys to Kentucky’s upcoming game. For the trip to Knoxville, Joker touched on several things the Cats will have to do to end the gat dang streak. You can check out all of the keys to the game over at Cat Scratches, but here’s a snippet to get you started:
Offensive keys – Get off to a fast start: “We’ve got to play fast from the first snap. If we play like we’ve been playing in the first half, we could be down too much and not be able to fight back. That’s one thing we don’t want to do. We want to try to match their intensity. They have a lot to play for and so do we. We need to definitely get off to a fast start to match their intensity. If we don’t we could be down 21 points the way they’re scoring points. Their defense is playing a lot faster because they’re going out on the field with leads. Their offense is scoring a lot of points and their special teams has scored some points, so they’re getting out on the field with confidence and the lead. When you go on the field for the first time and it’s 7-0, you go out there a second time and it’s 14-0 and then you go out there and it’s 21-0, I think that gives your defense a lot of confidence.”
Key matchup – Healthier Derrick Locke vs. Tennessee run defense: “Our running game opens up a lot with Derrick Locke. There was a three-game stretch where we weren’t able to run the ball as efficiently with Locke out. All that did was open up our passing game and a chance for Randall Cobb to run the ball in the Wildcat because now you’ve got Derrick Locke coming across in the speed sweep and we have the ability to hand the ball to him. That takes another guy out of the defensive front and it allows Randall to run the ball in the Wildcat formation.”
The sun will soon rise on a day when 25 years of misery will end, and it won’t be long now until we taste glorious victory over the jailbirds wearing puke-inside-of-a-pumpkin orange. Considering I was a newborn blogger the last time Kentucky bested the Vols, I’ve basically been waiting my whole life for this. It’s time. The streak must end, and it must end tomorrow.
Enjoy your Friday night, folks, but hopefully your Saturday will be even better. Go Big Blue.