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Tennessee vs. Kentucky 2017 final score: Wildcats bowl eligible, Vols fall to 0-5 in SEC play

Two teams going in opposite directions met on Saturday night. The matchup didn’t spur either team from their trajectory.

Tennessee v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats raced past the Tennessee Volunteers 29-26 on Saturday night in Lexington.

With the score 26-21 with 33 seconds to play, quarterback Stephen Johnson ran in for a touchdown. A pass by running back Benny Snell, Jr. gave them a 2-point conversion to go up three in the final seconds. Tennessee answered with a Hail Mary attempt that fell three yards shy of the end zone, perhaps encapsulating how things have gone for the Vols lately.

With that victory, the Wildcats assured themselves that they would be going bowling this season as they stand at 6-2 and 3-2 in SEC play.

The Volunteers, meanwhile, damn near assured themselves a losing season, as they’ve fallen to 0-5 in SEC play and 3-5 overall.


What We Learned

10 wins for Kentucky isn’t crazy

The Volunteers welcome the Ole Miss Rebels and go to play the Vanderbilt Commodores in their next two games. Both are winnable matchups for the Wildcats, who could very well have eight wins heading into a showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs on November 18.

It’s unlikely that UK would challenge Georgia, given how good the ‘Dawgs have been, but the Louisville Cardinals are certainly looking vulnerable even with Lamar Jackson in tow.

The ‘Cats could very well have nine wins heading into their bowl game. 10 wins by the end of the season? It’s not really a stretch at all to say.

Tennessee might not have a choice at this point with Butch Jones

Even though recruiting has been stout, the ROI is not what you want. When you average roughly 5th in the SEC and hovering around 10th nationally in recruiting the last four seasons, you almost have to try to go 0-5 in conference play. The rope was shortening to begin with, but Butch Jones isn’t and probably shouldn’t be likely to coach again in Knoxville in 2018. The Vols’ sputter to an 0-5 start in conference play may be doing the work for them.