Kentucky’s road matchup with Ole Miss was one of the most hyped up college football games of the weekend, and it certainly lived up to the hype, just not in Kentucky’s favor. The No. 7 Wildcats fell to the No. 14 Rebels, 22-19.
Kentucky suffered the loss on Saturday but had more than enough chances to change the outcome. Instead of capitalizing, several miscues on special teams and three turnovers by Will Levis were enough to tip the scales in favor of Ole Miss.
The Wildcats lost confidence in their kicking game early after a missed field goal and two botched extra points, but that wasn’t all that hurt Kentucky in the first half. Instead of fielding a punt, Tayvion Robinson allowed the ball to bounce and be downed at the one-yard line by the Rebels. A few minutes later during the same possession, Levis was called for intentional grounding while in the end-zone — causing a safety.
Kentucky went into the locker room trailing 19-12 when they could have very well been tied if not for their own mistakes.
The second staff was inspiring for the Kentucky defense, as the Wildcats held the Rebels to just three points in the third quarter and zero in the fourth. They made several key stops when called upon and gave Kentucky’s offense more than enough opportunities to win the football game.
Instead of changing the narrative from the first half, Kentucky’s offense just couldn’t pull it together when it mattered most. Two fumbles by Levis on back to back drives cost the Wildcats their chance to score what would’ve likely been the go-ahead touchdown. Kentucky also had an illegal shift penalty on their final drive that wiped out a touchdown catch by receiver Dane Key.
It will be a frustrating week for Kentucky, but they’ll need to come together and regroup ahead of their home matchup with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday night.
DeAndre Square is the leader in the middle of Kentucky’s defense and led the near shutout of Saturday’s second half. Square finished the game with 11 total tackles, including seven solo tackles and one that went for a loss. Ole Miss was able to move the ball on the ground in the first half with 137 rushing yards, but Square and company made adjustments to hold Ole Miss to just 49 rushing yards in the second half. His performance, as well as other members of the Kentucky defense, was the lone bright spot during Saturday’s loss to the Rebels.