Vols Regroup For Border Bash Against Kentucky

(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Heading into a five-week gauntlet of SEC play, the third-ranked Tennessee Volunteers wrap up their three-game homestand Saturday night when the No. 19/17 Kentucky Wildcats visit Neyland Stadium for the 118th all-time meeting in the series (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Two days out from the SEC East divisional clash, head coach Josh Heupel met with members of the media Thursday morning to wrap up media proceedings for the week and preview the border battle. With his Vols off to a 7-0 start for the first time since 1998, Heupel praised his team’s ability to ‘refocus, regroup and be consistent’ in their approach to practice every single week.

“The only (game) that matters as a competitor is the next one, right?” Heupel remarked. “Everyone is talking about the last one, but you’re only as good as your next performance. Being able to refocus, regroup and be consistent. What’s been great about this team and the reason that one week at a time up until this point we’ve found a way to be the best team on the field is their preparation and the way they practice. At the end of the day, you have to go cut it loose on gameday and play harder for longer than your opponent.”

In a matchup to pits the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense against a top-10 scoring defense, the Vols will aim to make a statement early on. This season, Tennessee is outscoring its opponents 96-24 in the first quarter, but Heupel made sure to emphasize the importance of playing sharp for the full 60 minutes.

“It’s important that you play well for 60 minutes,” Heupel said. “Would we love to get off to a fast start? Yes, absolutely, but you guys have seen games unfold differently, and you just have to keep playing. Would love to start fast, but we will go play ball and play for 60 minutes.”

Categories: Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols