Tennessee destroyed Kentucky on Saturday. The score may read 50-16, but keep in mind that Tennessee back-ups were used liberally and the final score could've been much worse. UT's offense operated efficiently with a balanced approach, seemingly leaving UK without a defensive answer. UK's offense was always going to be hard-pressed to score, but falling behind early sealed its doom.
Tennessee has a lot of young studs who are winning conference games against middling competition. Jalen Hurd effectively ran for 113 yards prior to the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Joshua Dobbs and his receivers went for nearly 300 yards. UT fans should leave this game feeling encouraged. Blowing out the below-average teams is a good indicator of things to come.
Tennessee's defense managed Kentucky's high-variance offense. Butch Jones has done a good job recruiting, and it's showing against the SEC's subpar teams. Rejoice, UT fans. You're destroying the teams that you should destroy. That's a good sign.
UK also plays a lot of young, highly-recruited players who, instead of earning roads wins, are scheduling some time in front of the locker room mirror this weekend. "Can I be better than this?" are words being finger-etched into steam as we speak. Tennessee's defense was always going to be stout, but 33 first-half points tells the story. The lack of second-half adjustments led to even more: 17 third-quarter points. UK is limping to the finish line figuratively, but thanks to strength and conditioning coach Erik Korem, not literally.
Beating Louisville seems an impossibility at this point. Thanks for watching; now kindly tune your televisions to college basketball, which actually provides self-worth and afternoon justification.
Tennessee deserves a bounty of praise -- make no mistake. This is the kind of game that suggests they'll be an issue in the coming seasons. Meanwhile, UK earns some soul-searching with their blow-out loss.