Kentucky will host Tennessee at the Kroger Field on Sunday in a Southeastern Conference Week 9 matchup. With an identical 5-2 record so far this season, both the Wildcats and the Volunteers will be looking to secure a win to have a better standing in the SEC East.
Spurred by the shared border between the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, the rivalry between the two universities is one of the oldest in the history of college football. It has been contested fiercely over the years. It is also one of the most played rivalry games within the landscape, dating back to the 19th century.
Let's examine the SEC rivalry and where both teams stand.
Kentucky and Tennessee H2H
Kentucky and Tennessee first met in 1893 in a matchup that ended in a 56-0 shutout victory in favor of the Wildcats. Both teams have played a total of 118 encounters in the rivalry series.
The competition was tight in the early years, with Kentucky maintaining a series lead in the first 22 matchups. However, since the early 1930s, Tennessee has asserted its dominance in this cross-border rivalry, leading the series with an 82-26-9 record.
The Wildcat and the Volunteers were founding members of the SEC when it was formed in 1932. Since that inaugural season, Tennessee has held a 53–14–3 record against Kentucky, which includes a remarkable streak of 26 consecutive victories from 1985 to 2010.
Notable record in the series
Tennessee holds the longest winning streak in the rivalry series with 26, from 1985 to 2010. This is also one of the longest streaks in college football history.
The largest margin of win in the rivalry series came in the inaugural meeting in 1893 when Kentucky defeated Tennessee 59-0.
Kentucky hasn't won consecutive games in the series since they did that in 1976 and 1977. They have just three wins over Tennessee in the 21st century.
Tennessee forfeited its 2019 victory due to recruiting violations that occurred under the leadership of former head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Preview of Kentucky vs. Tennessee, Week 9
Tennessee will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Lexington to play their rival Kentucky. The Volunteers suffered a loss to Alabama last week in Tuscaloosa despite having a 13-point lead at halftime time.
Kentucky also lost their last game to Missouri and will be out for a win against the Volunteers this time. Considering their performance this season, the Wildcats are in a good position to get a rare victory over Tennessee.