Vols prep for road trip to Kentucky

Published 10:50 am Thursday, October 26, 2023

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Another challenging road test awaits this week as No. 21 Tennessee makes the short trip to Lexington to take on a physical Kentucky team that is coming off an open week.

“We’re playing a really good Kentucky team that’s had two weeks of preparation coming off of a bye,” head coach Josh Heupel said on Monday. “Extremely physical football team on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Offensively, you look at their ability to rush the football. Their efficiency in their play action pass will be a huge challenge for us defensively. Offensively, they’re extremely good against the run and extremely physical up front. It’ll be a huge test, and special teams will be a big part of it too.”

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Despite coming up short last weekend at Alabama, the Vols’ offense was sharp in the first half en route to building a 20-7 halftime lead. The passing game especially was much improved as quarterback Joe Milton III completed a UT career-high 28 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. However, in order for the offense to reach its full potential, there are still improvements to be made through the air.

“We have to be better in all phases. It can be protection, routes, winning (one-on-ones), reading it, Joe (Milton III) putting it on target and (receivers) catching the ball,” Heupel said. “It’s a little bit of everything. I thought we took some steps at times in our passing game last week. We have to continue to improve here as we go.”

Saturday’s contest between the Vols (5-2, 2-2 SEC) and Wildcats (5-2, 2-2 SEC) is slated for a 7 p.m. ET kick on ESPN.