Tennessee vs. Kentucky score: No. 3 Volunteers dominate as defense stifles No. 19 Wildcats

No. 3 Tennessee's matchup against No. 19 Kentucky on Saturday looked like it could be a trap spot before a trip to face No. 1 Georgia in a major showdown next week, but the Volunteers quickly shoved that notion aside in a 44-6 thrashing of the Wildcats with the help of an unusually strong defensive effort.

Tennessee limited Kentucky to just 205 total yards and forced the Wildcats to go nine consecutive possessions without points. The matchup was hailed as a battle of elite quarterbacks, but only Tennessee's Hendon Hooker met the bill. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis completed 16 of 27 passes for 98 yards and no touchdowns with three interceptions.

Hooker threw for 245 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions while also running for another score as he added another impressive line to his Heisman Trophy resume. His favorite target was again Jalin Hyatt, who caught five passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns to increase his season scoring tally to 14. Star receiver Cedric Tillman, who made his return for the Volunteers, caught four passes in his first game since suffering an ankle injury against Akron in Week 3.

Though Tillman's contributions were hardly needed against Kentucky, the Volunteers might need him to step up next week in the crucial SEC East showdown with the Bulldogs as the SEC on CBS Game of the Week will be one of the most highly anticipated games of the 2022 season.

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