The showdown between the University of Kentucky and UT has already begun.

In late October, UK's recreation department challenged UT RecSports to a canned food drive competition lasting through the the end of November. The cans collected at UT will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, and those gathered at UK will be given to God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Kentucky.

Heading up the food drive is Yusof Al-Wadei, a graduate student in public health.

"Not only are we going to have a food drive, but the competition itself might spark some interest from individuals and groups," Al-Wadei said. "It's just a friendly competition to do some good in our community before the football game."

Also heading up the program is Sean McCall, a graduate student in sports management. McCall said UT is leading the race with 128 cans to UK's 21.

"So we're winning by over a hundred, which we're pretty excited about," McCall said. "Every Monday we're going to be doing counts, that way the student population can keep track of where we are."

McCall said promoting the food drive among students has been a challenge of its own. He and Al-Wadei have tried to gain participation from residence halls and various campus organizations.

"It's been hard to get the ball rolling outside of RecSports," McCall said.

"We've also reached out to sororities and fraternities to try to get them involved as well," Al-Wadei said.

McCall said the RecSports office staff is carrying UT in the competition thus far. Rex Pringle, RecSports director, is bringing in more donations than students.

"We're reaching out to all of campus. We're not trying to keep it as a RecSports thing," McCall said. "It's a UT thing. It's a student thing.

"It's a Volunteer thing."

Donation bins are located in TRECS, the Student Aquatic Center, Hodges Library, the UC and inside all residence halls.

McCall and Al-Wadei say they are planning to turn the canned goods over to Second Harvest before Thanksgiving, in case the donations are needed for the holidays.