Kentucky Football is BACK and is ready to make a run this season towards the top of the SEC East division this season. This past Saturday, Kentucky opened the season with a bang against the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The Cats pulled off the commanding win, 45-10, as both the offense and defense looked great to start the season.
The Cats started the era of Penn State transfer Will Levis as their quarterback and it was a promising start. To start, Kentucky had only one 50-yard pass in the past two seasons, but Levis gave the team three, with two being back-to-back touchdown passes to Wan’Dale Robinson then Josh Ali. Levis was all around impressive as he completed 18 of 26 of his passes along with 367 passing yards, four touchdown passes, and a QBR of 82.9. He has one interception in his first pass of the season that was just from a mishandling from Ali, but nothing serious to worry about.
Kentucky’s receiving core this year looks fantastic as well. Ali and Robinson both had five receptions each, as Ali had 136 receiving yards and Robinson racked up 125 yards. Ali had one touchdown, while Robinson racked up two. Isaiah Epps had a great outing with three receptions and 83 receiving yards. The Junior Brenden Bates caught his first touchdown pass with the team as well. All around, Kentucky has finally got the potential for an air raid offense to add to their incredible running game that has been the bread and butter for the past few years.
Fans knew that our running game would be fantastic again this year, especially with the Big Blue Wall being stacked once again, plus Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke as a two-headed monster. Rodriguez carried the ball 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. His wrecking ball reputation was on display with great power runs throughout the game. Smoke had a rough start to the season with five carries for 16 yards, plus a fumble, but no need to worry about Smoke. The former receiver Michael Drennen II had a touchdown on three carries for 16 yards. The running back core looks solid, but the offensive line will be a huge part of the team’s success this season.
Let us not forget how great the defense looked this weekend as well. The defense was stellar, only giving up 87 yards in total (70 passing, 17 rushing). The defensive line gave ULM’s offensive lines all kinds of fits as the team racked up 14 tackles for loss and six sacks. J.J. Weaver, the Louisville native, led the team with two sacks, as Josh Paschal, Deandre Square, Yusuf Corker, and Jordan Wright each racked up one a piece. Square also led in TFLs. The Sophomore Radcliffe native, Octavious Oxendine, impressed this weekend as a potential new force to add to the team’s defense.
The win made a lot of fans happy as the team looked completely different from the past year. The team seems to have a great all-around presence as Kentucky opens up conference play next Saturday, September 11th, against Missouri. Missouri slipped by Central Michigan in their opener, but they have a very solid team, giving Kentucky a good test. Big Blue Nation is excited for this season and as always, GO CATS!