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  • Cats favored over Vols, but don't be fooled by their record

    By: LARRY VAUGHT

    For the first time since he's been at Kentucky, coach Mark Stoops has a team that is favored to beat Tennessee Saturday.

    The Vols are 3-4 and have gone 14 straight quarters without an offensive touchdown. Tennessee's only score this month was an interception return for a touchdown against Alabama last week.

    But Stoops said Monday not to be fooled by the Vols' record.

    "They played Florida close, we played Florida close. They played South Carolina close, we played South Carolina close. They had an opportunity to beat South Carolina, we all saw that. If one play had gone one way or another, they could beat South Carolina. That is a good football team. Same with Florida. Florida is a better team than people give them credit for and Tennessee had a good opportunity to win that game as well," Stoops said.

    "We know what Tennessee can do. I know the way people pile on people when they’re not doing so well. I know how that goes, I’ve been there and we can’t control any of that. We can only control how we’re going to play. I expect Tennessee to come in and play exceptionally hard just like they did this past week against the exceptional Alabama team. We expect them to come in with great pride and play very well just like we did a year ago.”

    Kentucky is coming off a 45-7 butt-kicking at Mississippi State.

    “We need to make competitive plays. We’re not making enough competitive plays right now," Stoops said.

    “Sometimes you have an advantage and we’re not making plays. That’s not okay. The secondary, we’re making very few competitive plays. In one-on-one situations in the Mississippi State game, we lost all 10 according to my count. That’s not acceptable.

    "Same with our offensive guys, they’ve got to make competitive plays. The one that stands out to me was when Lynn Bowden went up and caught the ball in traffic, when Drew (Barker) threw a nice ball and he went up and got it. Outside of that, I don’t know if we made a competitive play.”
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