Tennessee Stat Book
Injuries have pressed Kentucky freshman Jalen Whitlow into the starting quarterback role far earlier than expected. Whitlow isn't asked to do much in the passing game, and he actually has more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns. Tyler Bray is coming off one of the worst games of his career and would like to leave a better impression for NFL evaluators if he decides to leave early.
Kentucky's Raymond Sanders had a season-high 123 yards last week against Samford, but has otherwise had a very ordinary season in a very bad rushing attack. The emergence of Marlin Lane to complement Rajion Neal has been a bright spot in Tennessee's season.
Wide receivers/tight ends
This will probably be the last game for Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter, but it will definitely be the last game for seniors Mychal Rivera and Zach Rogers, who have combined for 61 catches and 961 yards in 2012. There will be huge holes to fill for the new staff in 2013.
Looking for optimism for next year? The Vols graduate only one offensive lineman from a unit that has been very strong, although junior Ja'Wuan James could test the NFL waters. Kentucky's offensive line is experienced but not SEC-caliber.
Kentucky senior Collins Ukwu, a Nashville area native, hopes to be healthy enough to play in the final game of his career. Tennessee's line will be expected to shut down the Wildcats run game after allowing 194 yards on the ground last week against Vandy. Edge: Even
Even a dinged-up Curt Maggitt was an important part of Tennessee's defense, and his ACL injury two weeks ago has hurt the defense. Kentucky junior Avery Williamson has an SEC-high 128 tackles. He has four consecutive games of at least 13 tackles, the first Kentucky player to do so in 22 years. Edge: Even
Kentucky only has five interceptions this season. Tennessee had four in the first game. Has Tennessee's bad secondary finally met its match? Edge: Even
Kentucky senior kicker Craig McIntosh is reliable inside of 40 yards, but pretty iffy after that. Tennessee's Michael Palardy has settled nicely into his multifaceted role handling kickoffs, field goals and punts. Patterson has the ability to score any time he touches the ball on a return. Edge: Tennessee
Both head coaches have been fired. Kentucky's Joker Phillips opted to finish the season, while Tennessee's Derek Dooley thought there would be fewer distractions if he left a week early. Edge: Kentucky
As both teams weather miserable seasons, it's probably a safe assumption that most players (and coaches) are ready to get this year in the books. Who will be more motivated? Tennessee gets a slight edge because it's a home game on Senior Day. Edge: Tennessee
Kentucky 27, Tennessee 26
Tennessee is clearly the more talented team, but the Vols looked flat and uninspired at Vanderbilt and it's hard to imagine the events of the last week have made things any better.