4:15:25 UKvsVandyFB2019

Kentucky Wildcats running back Kavosiey Smoke (20) is dragged down short of a touchdown during the University of Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt University football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. UK won 38-14.Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

4:57:52 UKvsVandyFB2019

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. (1) looks for an open receiver during the University of Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt University football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. UK won 38-14.Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Going into week 13 of the college football season, the Kentucky Wildcats hope to survive and advance when they host the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at Kroger Field this Saturday. A win will make the Cats bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season.

With the Skyhawks only having a record of 1-27 against teams that are Football Bowl Schools, Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops is not undermining the competition at hand.

“We don’t take it for granted, but we absolutely want more,” Stoops said. “We want continue to win more and more games. We’re grateful for the opportunity to get to six (wins), we need to go do it.”

Coached by Jason Simpson, the Skyhawks are 7-4 overall, with six of those wins being in their home Ohio Valley Conference play.

This is the last game scheduled for the Skyhawks season. Therefore, Stoops says he knows this is a team coming prepared. 

“You are playing a team that is coming in here with nothing to lose,” Stoops added, “it is their last game and they are going to throw caution to the wind and take some gambles and some shots.”

The Skyhawks have won six of their last eight games and have held their opponents to a max of 17 points in six of those matchups in that stretch of play. With that being said, the Wildcats have prepared for this game by showing improvements in the previous victory over Vanderbilt.

Bowden was 8-for-10 passing for 104 yards and a touchdown. The versatility of Bowden, who now leads the SEC in all-purpose yardage, seems to continue as a newfound strength for this team. The teams three powerrunning backs in A.J Rose, Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke combined for 34 carries with 291 rushing yards.

Defensively, the Cats delivered on the line by holding the Commodores to only 198 offensive yards throughout the game. On offense, the Skyhawks' Peyton Logan will be the teams main running back Saturday. He's rushed for a total of 806 yards this season and six touchdowns.

On the flip side, Tennessee-Martin is home to senior linebacker T.J Jefferson who is eight in the OVC in sacks this season with 4.5.

The defense at hand could possibly pose a threat to the momentum wave that the Cats' offense is riding after last weekend. The last time these two teams went head-to-head was back in 2014 in the Wildcats' season opener. UK drilled the Skyhawks, 59-14.

Will history repeat itself with Kentucky securing  both a win and bowl eligibility?Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. later today and can be seen on the SEC Network.