LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee beat Kentucky 17-13 on Saturday at Kroger Field to improve to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in Southeastern Conference play.
Kentucky is 4-5, 2-5.
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano started the second half in relief of freshman Brian Maurer. The redshirt junior threw for 115 yards and rushed for a career-high 30 yards, including 10 on a third-down play that sealed the win.
Guarantano was the Volunteers' leading rusher for the first time in his career. His previous career high was 20 yards against the University of Texas at El Paso last season.
It didn't come until the final moments of the game as Tennessee senior linebacker Daniel Bituli stuffed Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. 2 yards short of the end zone on fourth down with 1:13 remaining. It was the culmination of four consecutive stops inside the Vols' 6-yard line.
On the go-ahead touchdown, Guarantano found Josh Palmer, who made an incredible, acrobatic catch in the end zone while getting a foot down in bounds.
WHAT IT MEANS
Tennessee got a win on the road for the first time this season, but more importantly, the Vols kept their postseason hopes alive in spectacular fashion, getting a victory built on toughness and resolve. Now they have an open date before two tries to earn that sixth win that would make the program eligible for a bowl for the first time since the 2016 season.