SEPT. 11, 2021
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 35, Missouri 28
Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 2-0 overall, 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Missouri is 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the SEC.
  • UK is 2-0 for the fourth time in the last five years.
  • Kentucky leads the series 8-4 and has won six of the last seven.
    • UK leads the series 5-1 in games played in Lexington.
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats complete their three-game homestand Saturday, Sept. 18, by playing host to Chattanooga. Game time is noon and it will be televised on ESPN+/SEC Network+.

Team Notes

  • Going to back to last season, UK has won three consecutive SEC home games for the first time since 2018. 
  • Kentucky scored 35 points, most in an SEC opener since a 42-29 win at Arkansas in 2007.
  • UK scored at least 35 points in the first two games of the season for the first time since 2019 and the fourth time since 1985.
  • UK had 519 total offensive yards. It is the first time in school history that UK has opened the season with two straight 500-yard games.
  • Kentucky made 66.7 percent of its third-down conversions (8 of 12), best since converting 72.7 percent (8 of 11) against Vanderbilt in 2019.
  • Since 2016, UK is 16-7 in games decided by seven points or less, including the last three in a row.

Coach Mark Stoops

  • Coach Stoops is in his ninth season as head coach of the Wildcats, tying Fran Curci (1973-81) for most seasons as head coach at UK.
  • This was Stoops 101st game as UK head coach, breaking Curci’s record of 100 games as coach of the Cats. 
  • This was Stoops’ 25th SEC win, tying Curci’s school record for most conference victories.
  • This was Stoops’ 51st overall win as UK head coach.  Paul “Bear” Bryant holds the school record with 60 victories.
  • Stoops is now 51-50 at Kentucky and is above .500 for the first time.  After two games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but has gone 39-24 since.

Player Notes

  • Junior quarterback Will Levis completed 10 of 18 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown.

    • Despite two sacks, he rushed 11 times for a net 25 yards, including a three-yard TD run.
    • With starting lineups available since 1993, he is the sixth quarterback since that time to win his first two starts – also Terry Wilson (2018), Patrick Towles (2014), Morgan Newton (2009), Mike Hartline (2008) and Billy Jack Haskins (1995).
  • Junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 27 times for 206 yards – both career highs – and tied his career best for touchdown runs with three.
    • He also caught a five-yard touchdown on the first possession, his first collegiate receiving TD.
    • His four total touchdowns tied the single-game school record.  It has been done 14 times in UK history, most recently by Lynn Bowden Jr. vs. Louisville in 2019.
    • His 206 rushing yards are the most for a UK player vs. Missouri and broke the UK record for most rushing yards in an SEC opener.
    • First player since Benny Snell in 2018 to rush for 100 yards in each of the first two games.
    • He has 331 rushing yards this season, school record for a UK player in the first two games of a season.
    • He has 1,692 career rushing yards, moving past Lynn Bowden, Al Baker, Raymond Sanders, Steve Campassi, Bill Leskovar, Ivy Joe Hunter and Derek Homer into 16th place in school history.
    • Rodriguez has rushed for a touchdown in five consecutive games, second-longest streak in school history.
    • He became the 10th player in school history with at least 20 rushing touchdowns (now has 21).
  • Junior running back Kavosiey Smoke ran eight times for 39 yards.
    • He has 955 career rushing yards. He needs 45 to become the 41st player in school history to reach 1,000.
  • Junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson caught five passes for 101 yards.
    • He is the first Wildcat to have back-to-back 100-yard receiving games since Jeff Badet in 2016.
    • He is the first Wildcat to have 100-yard receiving games in the first two games of a season since Craig Yeast in 1998.
    • He is the first Wildcat with a 100-yard receiving game in an SEC opener since Garrett Johnson at Florida in 2014.
    • It is the fourth 100-yard game of his collegiate career, including two at Nebraska.
    • He also had a career-long 64-yard run on the first possession, setting up a touchdown pass to Chris Rodriguez. He finished with three carries for 73 yards
  • Senior wide receiver Josh Ali caught two passes for 30 yards.
    • He has 97 career receptions, needs three more to become the 17th player in school to history to catch at least 100 passes.
    • He became the 31st player in school history to reach 1,000 and now has 1,012.
  • Senior safety Tyrell Ajian led the Wildcats with a career-high eight tackles.
  • Senior linebacker Jacquez Jones got his first collegiate interception – and UK’s first takeaway of the year – with an acrobatic leaping grab on the first possession of the third quarter, setting up a UK touchdown. He added two pass breakups.
  • Sophomore linebacker J.J. Weaver had a crucial eight-yard sack on Missouri’s final possession of the game.  He also had a three yard tackle for loss and caused a fumble.
    • He now has 2.5 sacks in the first two games.
  • First time starters: sophomore tight end Izayah Cummings.

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