Best Start Since 1950
Throughout Kentucky’s football history it’s been a rare occurrence for the program to maintain prosperity. Time after time they would have a big win only to have a letdown the next week or be able to capitalize. Although, in 2021 that seems a thing of the past. A week after beating Florida at home for the first time in 35 years Mark Stoops‘ club kept it going. Before a second straight raucous sell-out crowd, Kentucky blasts LSU 42-21 giving the school the best start in 71 years.
Big Night For QB1
Over the last few weeks quarterback, Will Levis and the Kentucky offense, in general, have struggled. Most notably with turnovers as the Cats came into Saturday with the second-worst turnover margin in the country. Furthermore, against the Tigers Levis had arguably his best night. When it was all said and done the UK signal-caller accounted for five of the six scores, three passing and two on the ground. The biggest stat of all was no turnovers. On the game, Levis completed 14 of 17 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Not to mention, he added another 75 yards on the ground and two more scores. In a night full of highlights Levis had one of the best.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) October 10, 2021
LSU only had one miscue but it led to Kentucky’s first touchdown. DeAndre Square forced a Max Johnson fumble that was recovered by Josaih Hayes. From there the Cats went 44 yards in nine plays with a Levis to Chris Rodriguez three-yard pass providing the score.
Total Team Effort
Overall Kentucky had one of their most balanced games of the season. Both Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke went over 100 yards gaining 147 and 104 respectively. Running behind “The Big Blue Wall” UK gained 325 yards on the ground averaging over seven yards a carry. Wan’Dale Robinson led the receiving attack with eight catches for 60 yards and one score. In addition, six different receivers caught passes.
On the other side of the ball, the defense did allow 408 yards and 22 first downs to the Tigers. However many of those came in the fourth quarter after Kentucky built up a 35-7 lead. Brad White’s group recorded four sacks and nine tackles for a loss. A Tyrion Davis-Price two-yard run got it to 35-21 but a Rodriguez touchdown squashed any chance of another “Bluegrass Miracle.” Kentucky blasts LSU 42-21 and it was another big night for the UK headman.
Moving Up The Leaderboard
With the win Stoops moves to 55-50 in his career at Kentucky. Remember two games into his fourth year in Lexington he was 12-26. Since then he’s gone a remarkable 43-24 which works out to a .624 winning percentage. That’s at Kentucky, in football. As a matter of fact, he’s only five wins from equaling Bear Bryant’s all-time record of 60.
Last two weeks, Kentucky has played Florida + LSU.
They were the physically more impressive team in both those games.
That wouldve been inconceivable just a few years ago.
Again, Mark Stoops build of UK remains one of the most under-appreciated CFB accomplishments of my life
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) October 10, 2021
In addition, Stoops got his first win against an SEC West school not named Arkansas or Mississippi State. Before Saturday he was 0-9 against the rest of the West. As we say a great deal it goes to show how much this program has improved under Stoops. Now they get another chance to prove it next Saturday.
Of course with the win, the Wildcats move to 6-0 on the season. It’s the best start since the Bryant-coached squad that went on to beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Years later computer guru Jeff Sagarin named Kentucky National Champions.
Nonetheless, the Cats have no time to rest on their laurels as they have the biggest game of the season next Saturday. They head to Georgia for a match-up with the SEC East title on the line. Kirby Smart‘s squad ascends to number one with Alabama loss to Texas A&M. The Bulldogs are also 6-0 on the year coming off a 34-10 victory over Auburn. We talk about all the streaks Stoops has ended over the last few years but beating the Bulldogs is the big one remaining. UGA has won 11 straight over Kentucky since the Cats won in Athens 34-27 in 2009.
As for the Tigers, they drop to 3-3 on the year and Ed Orgeron’s hot seat gets even hotter. In fact, since winning it all in 2019 LSU is only 8-8. It gets no easier for them as they host Florida next Saturday in Baton Rouge.
Historic Season Continues
Kentucky blasts LSU 42-21 to go 6-0 for the first time since 1950. In addition, they are 4-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1977. They are bowl eligible on the second weekend in October and are guaranteed to move up in our newest bowl projections. Last week we had them playing Michigan State in the Citrus Bowl. The most likely destination is the Sugar Bowl on January 1st. It would be the first time Kentucky’s played in that game since they beat Oklahoma 13-7 in 1951.
Thanks for checking out our recap here at Last Word On College Football. It’s going to be an exciting week in Lexington and we’ll get you ready for Saturday’s game with a preview and of course a prediction.