Josh Heupel discusses Vols coming off open date, preparing for Kentucky

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Tennessee (4-4, 2-3 SEC) will play at Kentucky (6-2, 4-2 SEC) Saturday in Week 10.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and will be televised by ESPN2.

The Vols enter Saturday’s contest following an open date in Week 9. First-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel met with media Monday and discussed the Vols coming off an open date and preparing for Kentucky in Week 10.

“Great to have guys back in the building,” Heupel said. “It’s only been three or four days, but it feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve got a chance to see them. Feel a little bit about the same way with you guys, too. Huge week here obviously, as we push forward to Kentucky. Good football team. They play extremely well at home. Huge test for us to go on the road, night ball game. Should be a great environment, one that our kids are looking forward to. I mentioned it last week, big part of it was just getting our guys healthy. I think we made some progress in that way during the bye week and looking forward to getting back on the field with the guys tomorrow and building towards game week.

“For our staff, the end of last week, a great opportunity for us to get out across the state and really throughout our recruiting footprint. It was a huge, huge thing for us. Excited about the feedback that we got, just as you get on the road, from fans, alumni, and then obviously, as we got into high schools and talking with coaches, too, they see the progress that our program is making, the way that we’re playing, and the product that we are putting out on the field. Obviously, I think they have a great sense of who we are and what we’re doing inside the building too, and how all of those things build to a great experience while you’re playing here at Tennessee. Excited about what we did last week, and for us now at this point, now it’s push forward and get ready for Kentucky.”