Kentucky-Youngstown State Postgame Notes

Kentucky-Youngstown State Postgame Notes

SEPT. 17, 2022 


FINAL SCORE: No. 9/10 Kentucky 31, No. 23 (FCS) Youngstown State 0 


Team Records and Series Information 

  • Kentucky is 3-0 overall, while Youngstown State is 2-1 overall. 
    • This was the first meeting between the teams. 
  • Next for UK: on Saturday, Sept. 24, Kentucky wraps up a two-game homestand by playing host to Northern Illinois. The game time is 7 p.m. ET and it will be televised on ESPN2. 
    • The Wildcats will be seeking to extend its streak of 18 consecutive nonconference wins, the longest active streak in the nation. 


What the Win Means for Kentucky and Head Coach Mark Stoops 

  • Kentucky is 3-0 for the fourth time in the last six seasons under head coach Mark Stoops, joining the 2017, 2018 and 2021 seasons.  
  • UK has won 18 consecutive nonconference games, the longest active streak in the nation. 
  • Coach Stoops extended his school records of 62 total wins and 43 home wins. 
    • After beginning 12-26 at UK (two games into the 2016 season), Stoops has since gone 50-27 (.649). 


Team Notes 

  • Kentucky held Youngstown State to no points, marking its first shutout since limiting Miami (Ohio) to no points at a neutral-site game in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sept. 5, 2009 (42-0).  
    • It marked Kentucky’s first shutout at home since holding Vanderbilt to no points on Nov. 16, 1996 (25-0) and first shutout since the facility was named Kroger Field in 2015. 
    • It was UK’s largest margin of victory in a home shutout since a 35-0 win over Kent State in 1993.  
  • UK has limited its last seven opponents to 21 or fewer points, its longest streak since doing so eight straight games to open the 2018 season. 
  • UK has allowed 30 or fewer points in 49 of the last 55 games.   
  • UK has allowed 29 points so far this season, fewest in the first three games since 2008 (19 in the first three games).  
  • The Wildcats held the Penguins scoreless in the first half, marking the first time Kentucky has garnered a first-half shutout since LSU on Oct. 9, 2021. 
    • In fact, the UK defense kept YSU without a first down until 5:31 remaining in the second quarter. 
  • UK has held its opponents scoreless for six straight quarters for the first time since 2019 – last three quarters at Vanderbilt and first three quarters vs. UT Martin. 
  • Kentucky held its opponent to under 200 yards of total offense (192 yards) for the first time since doing so in the season opener against ULM on Sept. 4, 2021. 
    • It is the second time in the defensive coordinator Brad White era (2019-present) and the fourth time in the Coach Stoops era (2013-present). 
  • This is the first time UK has held its first three opponents under 300 yards since the first three games of 1989. 
    • UK has held its first three opponents to 761 this season, fewest in the first three games since 2008 (752 in first three games). 
  • UK limited YSU to nine first downs, fewest since Vanderbilt had eight in 2014. 
  • YSU was 0-of-10 on third-down conversions, the first time UK had accomplished that feat since holding Georgia to 0-of-10 in 2005. 
  • UK has limited each of the last two opponents under 50 percent completions, first time in back-to-back games since 2018 (Florida and Murray State). 
  • UK completed passes to 10 different receivers, most since 10 Wildcats caught passes vs. Vanderbilt in 2020. 


Player Notes 

  • Senior quarterback Will Levis completed 27-of-35 passes for a season-high 377 yards, which is the second-most in his career, two touchdowns and two interceptions. 
    • He also rushed for seven yards on nine carries and a touchdown.  
    • Levis recorded his highest completion percentage in a game when attempting at least 20 passes (.771). 
    • It is the highest single-game completion percentage for a Wildcat (min. 35 pass attempts) since Dusty Bonner hit 34 of 40 (85 percent) in 1999. 
    • It marked Levis’ fifth 300+ yard passing game in his career and his second this season.  
    • He is the third QB in school history with at least four games of 365+ passing yards, also Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen. 
  • Freshman wide receiver Dane Key had season highs with six catches for 90 yards, including a three-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.  
    • He has recorded a TD catch in each of the first three games of his collegiate career. 
    • The last Wildcat with a TD catch in the first three games of a season was La’Rod King in 2011. 
    • His three TD catches already ties the UK freshman single-season record, equaling the mark of three by Derek Abney in 2000 and Tommy Cook in 2001.    
  • Senior wide receiver Tayvion Robinson has recorded a reception in 29 consecutive games, as he grabbed a team-high tying six passes for 66 yards this afternoon. 
  • Senior running back Kavoisey Smoke rushed for 66 yards on a career-high 18 carries, recording one touchdown.  
    • He has now reached 1,484 career rushing yards, which ties Mike Fanuzzi (1971-74) for the 24th-most career rushing yards in program history.  
  • True freshman Barion Brown had season highs with five catches for 56 yards. 
  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Lewis had the first pass reception of his collegiate career go for a touchdown.  
    • He caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Levis, helping Kentucky go up 21-0 before halftime. 
  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Dekel Crowdus got his first collegiate catch and totaled two receptions for 17 yards this afternoon. 
  • Junior receiver DeMarcus Harris had a career-long 58-yard reception. 
  • Freshman defensive back Alex Afari Jr. led Kentucky with five total tackles, which included one solo tackle and a tackle for loss (-2 yards). 
  • Linebackers Jordan Wright and Jacquez Jones tied for the second-most total tackles with four apiece, while Wright and freshman safety Jordan Lovett rallied a team-high three solo tackles apiece.  
    • Wright also led with two tackles for loss (-3 yards). 
  • With YSU first-and-goal at the UK two-yard line in the third quarter, junior cornerback Carrington Valentine recorded his first career interception to help keep the Penguins off the scoreboard.  
    • He also had two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.  He has five PBU over the last two games.  
  • Senior kicker Matt Ruffolo made four extra point attempts and a field goal. 
    • He now has 200 points, becoming the eighth player in school history to reach 200 career points. 
  • First collegiate starts: true freshman DL Deone Walker and redshirt freshman DB Jordan Lovett.  
  • Game captains for Kentucky: Will Levis, DeAndre Square, Jacquez Jones and J.J. Weaver. 

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