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4 risers and 3 fallers from Kentucky’s loss to Tennessee

The Cats lose their 3rd game in a row.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Tennessee at Kentucky Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats were back in Kroger Field on Saturday night looking to end their two-game losing streak with a matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers.

It was a brutal start for the Cats as Tennessee took the first play of the game 70+ yards to the house for a 7-0 lead.

The Kentucky offense answered to make it a 7-7 ballgame, but it was the Vols with another quick hitter of 70+ yards to retake the lead, 14-7.

It was a wild first half as Tennessee only possessed the ball for just under 6 minutes but put up 24 points on the Cats’ defense.

Thankfully, the Kentucky offense showed up and were equally as productive with their balanced offensive attack racking up 151 passing yards and 147 rushing yards.

Unfortunately, it was the Vols that capitalized late as a last second field goal sent them into the break with a 24-21 lead.

The second half was just as wild as the first as Kentucky came out and drove right down the field to take a 28-24 lead.

However, Tennessee immediately answered after a short kickoff to retake the lead 31-28.

Then came the first mistake of the night from Will Levis as he threw a pick six which gave the Vols their biggest lead at 38-28.

Levis responded wonderfully as he led another TD drive capped off with a pass to Wan’Dale Robinson to make it 38-35.

Tennessee answered once again extending the lead back to ten as they made it 45-35. But, Levis continued his impressive night and delivered his 3rd passing TD of the game to make it 45-42.

It looked like Tennessee was about to walk it in for another touchdown, but the defense made a massive stand leading to the Vols missing the field goal attempt.

Kentucky had a chance to drive down the field and win it but unfortunately they couldn’t get it done and the Vols come away with a 45-42 win.

Risers

Chris Rodriguez: It was a rough week against Mississippi State last week for Rodriguez. However, he bounced back in this one as he had more yards in the first half (53) than he had all of last week. He continued his bounce back performance in the 2nd half as he went on to finish with 109-yards rushing.

Will Levis: This week was a massive week for Levis after his atrocious performance a week ago on the road. Levis answered in a big way as he played his butt off against the Vols finishing with 372 passing yards, 47 rushing yards, and 5 total touchdowns. He did have one crucial mistake by throwing a pick six but overall it was an impressive performance for the QB1.

Josh Ali: Kentucky missed Ali during his injury but in his second game back, we are seeing just how important he is. Ali finished the game with 7 receptions for 74-yards and made some massive catches throughout the game.

Wan’Dale Robinson: As if Robinson’s stock could get any better, but after a sluggish performance against Mississippi State, Robinson bounced back in a big way as he finished with 13 receptions for 166-yards and a TD.

Fallers

Tackling: The Kentucky defense struggled last week against Mississippi State and that carried over into this week. Tennessee was gashing the Cats with huge plays and Kentucky missed a ton of tackles allowing the big plays to happen. Tennessee’s first play of the game was a screen pass that went 70+ yards after two missed tackles. Completely inexcusable and something that needs to be fixed immediately.

Pass Coverage: Tennessee did most of their damage through the air as Kentucky’s defensive backs continued to get beat all night. Tennessee finished with 316 passing yards and 4 passing TDs in the win.

Brad White: Obviously White is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country but he has now had back-to-back rough weeks as Mississippi State and Tennessee have both torched the Cats’ defense. I don’t know what happened to the defense we saw the first six weeks, but these last two performances have been embarrassing.