Game after game, season after season, the bruising back has made his presence felt when his number has been called upon.
Saturday against the program’s biggest rival was no exception.
Chris Rodriguez Jr. once again dominated on the ground against the Cards by running for 120 yards on 24 carries.
It was the fifth time this season that No. 24 has eclipsed the 100-yard mark this year. It was also the second time he’s gone for 120+ yards in a Kentucky win over a top-25 team. In addition to today’s win over No. 25 Louisville, Rodriguez had one of the best games of his life in the 27-17 win over then-No. 16 Mississippi State (197 rushing yards and two scores).
But what’s even more impressive was that today’s production marked the 20th time in Rodriguez’s career going over 100 yards in a game.
This feat pushed C-Rod past former UK great, Benny Snell, for first on the all-time list at UK. He’s also the first Wildcat to ever run for 100+ yards vs. Louisville three times, per UK statistician Corey Price.
RB @CROD_JR over 100 yards rushing today for the fifth time this season.— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) November 26, 2022
This is the 20th 100+ yards rushing game of his career. He just broke @benny_snell's @universityofky career record 100+ yard rushing games. pic.twitter.com/B1Vo6E8BMq
It’ll be strange watching football at Kroger Field next season with the absence of Rodriguez, who is widely expected to enter the NFL Draft, but there’s no doubt he’ll leave behind a lifetime of memories.
There have been some incredible running backs to play for Mark Stoops at Kentucky but none may be better than Rodriguez from a dependability standpoint.
There will be a game in the future when Kentucky desperately needs a short yardage first down, and you’ll look over at a friend or family member and simply say, “It’d sure be nice to have C-Rod. You know he’d fall forward for this first down.”
Despite not scoring a touchdown today, it’s safe to say that Chris Rodriguez Jr. left his mark when playing against the Louisville Cardinals. Last season, he ran for a near identical total of 121 yards and did get in the end zone once in 2021. And in 2019, he ran for 125 yards and one score on just nine carries.
Whenever the bell needed to be answered, C-Rod could always be counted on to deliver, and he’ll be missed by all in the Commonwealth.