SEPT. 18, 2021
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 28, Chattanooga 23
Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 3-0 overall. Chattanooga is 1-2.
  • UK is 3-0 for the third time under Coach Mark Stoops, also 2017 and 2018.
  • This was the first meeting between the teams.
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats have their first road trip of the season Saturday at South Carolina.  Game time is 7 p.m. and it will be televised by ESPN2.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky has returned to .500 overall all-time, for the first time since 2012, with an all-time mark of 632-632-44.
  • Kentucky has won 13 consecutive non-conference games, the third-longest active streak in the nation.
    • It is UK’s longest non-conference win streak since 2006-09 when the Wildcats won 18 in a row. 
  • Since 2016, UK is 17-7 in games decided by seven points or less. UK has won its last four in a row in this category, including 2-0 this season.
    • The last time UK won back-to-back games by seven points or less was 2018 with close victories over Vanderbilt and Missouri.
  • Since 1953, UK has won 23 games in a row against teams currently in the Football Championship Subdivision.  The FCS was created as Division I-AA in 1978, changing the name to FCS in 2006.  UK began playing teams in Division I-AA/FCS in 1998 and is 19-0 since that time. 
  • UK has scored 28 points in each of the first three games for the first time since 2007.

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.
  • Stoops holds UK records for games coached (102) and most home wins by a head coach (38).
  • This was Stoops’ 52nd win as UK head coach.  Paul “Bear” Bryant holds the school record with 60 victories.
  • Stoops is now 52-50 at Kentucky.  After two games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but has gone 40-24 (.625) since.

Player Notes

  • Junior quarterback Will Levis completed 23 of 35 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

    • Levis added 18 yards on three carries, including a key 21-yard scramble on a third-and-two play, keeping alive UK’s go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
    • With starting lineups available since 1993, he is the third quarterback since that time to win his first three starts – also Terry Wilson (2018) and Mike Hartline (2008).
    • He has seven touchdown passes this season, most for a UK quarterback in their first three starts at UK since Jared Lorenzen had eight TD tosses in his first three starts in 2000.
  • Junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 13 times for 46 yards.
    • He has 1,739 career rushing yards, moving past Rodger Bird and Jojo Kemp into 14th place in school history.
  • Honoring teammate Chris Oats by wearing Oats’ jersey number (22), junior running back Kavosiey Smoke ran seven times for 27 yards.
    • He has 982 career rushing yards, needs 18 yards to become the 41st player in school history with 1,000.
  • Junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson caught eight passes for 111 yards.
    • He is the first Wildcat to have three-straight 100-yard receiving games since Derek Abney in 2001.
    • He is the first Wildcat to have three-straight 100-yard receiving games to begin a season.
    • It is the fifth 100-yard game of his collegiate career, including two at Nebraska.
  • Senior wide receiver Josh Ali caught five passes for 53 yards.
    • He had an 11-yard rushing touchdown on the game’s first possession. It is his first collegiate rushing TD.
    • He made a great play to recover Chattanooga’s onside kick with 1:19 remaining to preserve the victory.
    • He has 102 career receptions and became the 18th player in school to history to catch at least 100 passes.
    • He has 1,065 career receiving yards, moving past C.J. Conrad, Demarco Robinson and Derek Homer for 28th place on the UK career yardage list.
  • Junior wide receiver Isaiah Epps caught two passes for 21 yards, including his first collegiate touchdown, a 20-yard reception in the second quarter.
  • Sophomore tight end Izayah Cummings caught his first collegiate touchdown pass, a 31-yard play in the fourth quarter.
  • Senior safety Tyrell Ajian had a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
    • It is his first collegiate score and the fourth interception of his career.
    • It ties for the third-longest interception return in school history and the longest since David Johnson’s 95-yard TD return at Cincinnati in 1986.
    • It is the longest UK interception return in Commonwealth Stadium/Kroger Field history.
  • Sophomore cornerback Carrington Valentine had a career-high 11 tackles.
  • Senior linebacker Jacquez Jones had nine tackles, his most at UK.
    • He also broke up a pass that saved a likely Chattanooga touchdown.
  • Senior safety Yusuf Corker had six tackles and tied his career best for pass breakups with two.
  • Making his first collegiate start, sophomore linebacker J.J. Weaver made four tackles, including a three-yard tackle for loss.
    • He has made at least one TFL in each of the first three games.
  • Senior defensive end Josh Paschal made two tackles, both of which were for loss.  He also had three quarterback hurries.
  • Senior punter Colin Goodfellow made his first appearance of the season.  He punted four times for a 50.5-yard average, including two that were inside the opponent 20-yard line.
  • Game captains for today were Josh Paschal, Josh Ali, Yusuf Corker and Luke Fortner.

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