The Kentucky Wildcats kicked the year off with a victory.
The Wildcats put up points in bunches in their 45-10 win over ULM. 31-point favorites, the Wildcats started off slowly but ultimately blew past that mark to get their first win of the season.
New quarterback Will Levis started things off on the wrong foot. Levis tossed an interception to ULM, and the Warhawks would respond to that pick by finding the end zone. Down 7-0, Kentucky scored on the ensuing drive. Levis redeemed himself and found Wan’Dale Robinson for a 33-yard touchdown pass to knot things up at 7-7.
Following a fumble by ULM, the Wildcats got out in front. It took one play, as LEvis threw to Josh Ali for a 58-yard touchdown. The Wildcats would never relinquish the lead after that, as they went on a 45-3 run in total following the sputter at the start.
Levis’ debut for UK was pretty great despite the early troubles. He completed 18 passes for 367 yards and tossed four touchdowns to three different receivers. Ali, Robinson, and Brenden Bates each pulled in receiving TDs to help boost the transfer’s profile up.
On the ground, Chris Rodriguez started off very nicely. Rodriguez ran for 125 yards on 19 carries, marking the seventh time in his career he’s eclipsed 100 rushing yards in a game. Rodriguez also ran for a score, the 18th touchdown of his career at UK. Mike Drennen, a sophomore whose nickname is “Donut,” also got a rushing touchdown, the first of his career.
Kentucky racked up six sacks on the afternoon, making life miserable for ULM quarterbacks Rhett Rodriguez and Chandler Rogers. Two went to J.J. Weaver, while the others went to Josh Paschal, Jordan Wright, Deandre Square, and Yusuf Corker. This was certainly a tenacious effort and hopefully gives the belief that their pass rush this year will be very strong.
If there’s anything Kentucky needs to clean up, it’s turnovers. They committed three on the day: An interception and two lost fumbles. They can ill afford to make those mistakes against higher-tiered opponents, so one would expect that to be cleaned up.
Kentucky will play Mizzou next week in Lexington in an early test for both sides.