The Kentucky Wildcats drop a heartbreaker at home to Tennessee, 45-42. It was a fantastic display from Will Levis and the offense, but on the defensive side of the ball, there was an all-systems-failure by Brad White’s unit.
Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker only attempted 20 passes, but threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns, most going for more than 50-70 yards. The secondary put on its worst performance of the Mark Stoops era simply because they had guys who could not make certain plays against the Vols’ receiving corps.
The Wildcats gained over 600 yards of offense, controlled the time of possession for over 30 more minutes than UT, and out-rushed them, and still lost by three points. All-in-all, a pretty inexcusable game from the defense.
Kentucky drops their third straight game and will head to Vanderbilt next week.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the Cats and Vols:
Coming into tonight, @UKFootball was 119-0 all-time when they scored at least 41 points in regulation— Corey Price (@coreyp08) November 7, 2021
Truly one of the worst defensive efforts I've ever seen for Kentucky football, especially under Mark Stoops.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) November 7, 2021
All systems failure for Brad White's unit.
What a shitty way to lose— Anna Maria Tarullo (@tarullotweets) November 7, 2021
Kentucky gets 612 yards of Offense and loses. That’s unbelievable— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 7, 2021
The 30+ yard swing in the facemask sequence definitely changed the way the game played out. Other ways you could have won but that was a key moment.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) November 7, 2021
#Vols got a break there.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) November 7, 2021
That was a facemask.
How did refs not see that?
THEN they give Stoops a 15-yard penalty? Mickie Mouse ish.
Loved what I saw from Will Levis tonight. Incredible performance that gave Kentucky a chance.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) November 7, 2021
Kentucky started 6-0. It has lost three straight. This one a bitter pill, offense giving them 42 points and the defense crapping the bed.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 7, 2021
The ship has sailed on a potentially special season in Lexington. What a waste of the program’s best night of offense in a long time.
Announcers have been atrocious tonight. Almost as bad as the refs.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) November 7, 2021
Obviously the Defense is the reason Kentucky lost. It was unbelievably atrocious for most of the night— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 7, 2021
But the end of First Half sequence was really big…6 point swing and big momentum change. If UK gets a FG, they are up 2 possessions when they score in 2nd Half
Last two opposing QBs against Kentucky …— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) November 7, 2021
Will Rogers: 36 of 39, 344 yards
Hendon Hooker: 15 of 20, 316 yards
Total: 51 of 59, 660 yards, 0 INT
Will Levis was the reason that Kentucky even had a chance in this game so you can miss me with any slander of him.— Big Blue Express (@bigbluexpress) November 7, 2021
Final | UT 45, UK 42— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) November 7, 2021
Will Levis: 31-49, 372 yds, 3 TD; 15 rush, 47 yds, 2 TD
Chris Rodriguez: 22 rush, 109 yds
Kavosiey Smoke: 11 rush, 53 yds, TD
Wan'Dale Robinson: 13 rec, 166 yds, TD
Izayah Cummings: 4 rec, 75 yds, TD
Josh Ali: 7 rec, 74 yds
Justin Rigg: 3 rec, 20 yds, TD
In the last eight quarters vs. UK opposing quarterbacks have thrown only eight incomplete passes.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) November 7, 2021
3 plays in :16 before half and allow a field goal… loses by field goal— #18 Barstool UK (@BarstoolUK) November 7, 2021
You have to get in field goal range In 3 plays— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) November 7, 2021
Tennessee “blocking” Josh Paschal pic.twitter.com/DhmTkvFi2V— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) November 7, 2021
This is the longest we've waited for a postgame news conference to start in some time.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) November 7, 2021
Wonder if Mark Stoops is deciding whether he's finally willing to get fined by going off on officiating publicly.
Few Stoops comments:— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) November 7, 2021
“No excuses. We will coach better and they will play better.”
“We’re all big boys. We can handle the criticism.”
(On the end of first half.)
“I wish I’d have punted it.”
Mark Stoops on the secondary— Big Blue Drew (@BigBlueDrew33) November 7, 2021
“Gotta bring these guys along in the secondary and get out there and recruit. Get some guys in here that can help.”
Mark Stoops: “Absolutely incredible football game. Extremely disappointed for our players and fans. Just a very difficult loss. Not sure I have been part of one quite like that.”— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) November 7, 2021
Can’t believe these were missed pic.twitter.com/3L4ZD4Juqy— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) November 7, 2021
If you can win out and win the bowl game it’s still 10-3 and still is a special season. 10 wins is special for this program, it just is.— dal (@dalsweatshirt) November 7, 2021
But it doesn’t make tonight suck any less.