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5 Greatest Kentucky vs. Tennessee College Football Games of All Time

Tennessee leads the series 82–26–9.
Jalen Hurd, Tennessee Volunteers Football vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Historically, Tennessee has dominated its border rivalry with Kentucky but the Wildcats have two of the past five meetings enterting Saturday's Top 25 showdown in Knoxville.

For the first time since 1951, Kentucky and Tennessee will enter their annual contest both ranked in the top 20. The third-ranked Volunteers are hoping to extend their undefeated season, while the No. 19 Wildcats would love to spoil it.

These two teams first met in 1893 and have played 117 times since then. Here are their five best games.

5. Tennessee 7, Kentucky 0

Nov. 25, 1950 – Knoxville, Tenn.

Kentucky rolled into Knoxville at 10-0 having outscored its opponents 380-55, but the Wildcats committed nine fumbles and Tennessee recovered eight of them. The only score came on tailback Hank Lauricella’s 28-yard touchdown pass to wingback Bert Rechichar in the second quarter. Both teams finished 11-1 and claim a national championship for the season.

4. Kentucky 21, Tennessee 17

Nov. 19, 1977 – Lexington, Ky.

In Johnny Majors' first season as head coach, the Volunteers were 3-6 while Kentucky was 9-1 and ranked seventh. However, the Wildcats were missing seven starters due to injury, including quarterback Derrick Ramsey who was battling shoulder and wrist injuries that made it nearly impossible to throw. When Tennessee proved to be a challenge, Ramsey entered the game and threw one pass for 11 yards and ran 22 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Vol kicker Jimmy Gaylor booted a 57-yard field goal to put his team ahead 17-14 in the fourth quarter and Ramsey drove Kentucky down the field and scored on a one-yard touchdown run to retake the lead. Tennessee drove to the Wildcats' 22-yard line where defensive end Art Still forced quarterback Jimmy Streater to fumble, with Kelly Kirchbaum recovering it for the win. Kentucky finished 10-1 and undefeated in SEC play, but could not share the conference title with Alabama because of NCAA probation.

3. Tennessee 38, Kentucky 35

Nov. 17, 2001 – Lexington, Ky.

The late Jared Lorenzen threw three touchdown passes to put Kentucky up 21-0 in the second quarter and Tennessee responded with 21 straight points to tie the game midway through the third quarter. Vol quarterback Casey Clausen then threw two touchdowns to Donte' Stallworth in the fourth quarter to take a 35-28 lead with 6:03 to play. Lorenzen answered with a 62-yard touchdown pass – his fifth of the game – to Anthony Kelly to tie it. Tennessee drove to the Wildcats' 27-yard line where Alex Walls kicked a 44-yard field goal to go up 38-35 with 2:56 remaining. Kentucky fumbled on its next possession, which the Vols recovered and then ran out the clock.

2. Kentucky 27, Tennessee 21

Nov. 21, 1953 – Lexington, Ky.

Kentucky head coach Bear Bryant had never beaten Tennessee in seven tries and the program had not won in this series since 1935. In this contest, the Wildcats jumped out to a 13-0 lead, but the Vols roared back. Early in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Wade hit Dan Sekanovich with a touchdown pass to put Tennessee up 21-20. Then Kentucky blocked a punt, giving them the ball on the Vols' 25-yard line. A few plays later, Bob Hardy ran 23 yards into the end zone for the winning score. The game was Bryant’s last as the Wildcats' head coach.

1. Tennessee 52, Kentucky 50 (3OT)

Nov. 24, 2007 – Lexington, Ky.

The Vols had to beat Kentucky in the last game of the regular season to win the SEC East title and led 31-14 late in the third quarter. Then the Wildcats scored 17 unanswered points with Lones Seiber kicking an 18-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime. The teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtime periods. In the third, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Arian Foster pushed Tennessee back to the 40-yard line. On the next play, Erik Ainge hit Qunitin Hancock with a touchdown pass and converted the two-pointer with a toss to Austin Rogers. Running back Derrick Locke scored on the subsequent possession for Kentucky with a three-yard touchdown run, but quarterback Andre’ Woodson was stopped on the two-point try, giving the Vols their last division title to date.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.