What. A. GAME.
A big part of that was true freshman Dane Key, who is wasting no time in establishing himself as one of the best pass-catchers UK has ever seen.
After catching three touchdowns in his first three games, Key went into a bit of a slump, as he would not reach the end zone in the ensuing five games.
Thankfully, Key scored not once but twice today, including the game-winner in the final minutes to put UK ahead for good.
Key’s other touchdown came in the first quarter, which was also a record-breaking score.
Coming into Week 10, Key was tied with Derek Abney (2000) and Tommy Cook (2001) for the most touchdown catches by a UK freshman.
Perhaps more importantly, UK is now 4-0 in games in which Key reaches the end zone and 2-3 when he doesn’t.
Now, here the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics.
Team Records and Series Information
- Kentucky is 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while Missouri is 4-5, 2-4 in the league.
- Kentucky leads the series with Missouri, 9-4.
- The Wildcats have won seven of the last eight.
- The Wildcats lead the series, 4-3, in Columbia.
- The two teams have met every season since 2012.
- Coach Mark Stoops is 7-3 against Missouri.
- Next for Kentucky: The Wildcats host Vanderbilt on Saturday, Nov. 12. The game time is noon ET and it will be televised on the SEC Network.
We have a lot of good young talent on this team future is very bright. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) November 5, 2022
What the Win Means for the Wildcats
- Make Kentucky 6-3 and clinches bowl eligibility for the seventh straight season.
- Give Kentucky its second straight win over Missouri, and its seventh in the last eight matchups.
- Help Kentucky earn the series edge in games played in Columbia, Missouri, 4-3.
- UK went 2-2 in SEC road games this season, the eighth straight season (school record) that UK has won at least one league road tilt.
- Since 2016, Kentucky is 21-9 (.700) in games decided by seven points or less.
- Extend Stoops’ all-time record of wins at Kentucky to 65 and his all-time record of SEC wins at Kentucky to 32.
- Stoops began his career at UK 12-26 (2013-through first two games of 2016); since then he has gone 53-30.
- Kentucky has limited the opponent to 24 points or less in 12 of the last 13 games, posting a 10-2 record in those contests.
- The three points allowed in the first half is the third time this season UK has held an opponent to three or fewer points in the first half.
- Kentucky has held the opponent to less than 400 yards in 12 of the last 13 games, posting a 10-2 mark in those games.
- Kentucky held Missouri to convert on just 15.4 percent of its third-down attempts, holding the Tigers to 2-of-13 on third down.
- UK entered the game as one of the nation’s top 25 teams in third-down defense, limiting foes to 32.1 percent entering today.
- Kentucky held Missouri to under 100 rushing yards, which is the third time this season UK has held its opponent to under 100 rushing yards.
- Will Levis’ touchdown pass to Dane Key on Kentucky’s opening drive this morning marked UK’s first touchdown on the first drive of a game since doing so against Northern Illinois.
- Kentucky incurred 12 penalties for 84 yards today. Since 2016, Kentucky has had 10 games with 10 or more penalties, yet the Wildcats are 10-0 in those games.
- Quarterback Will Levis completed 12-of-18 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns.
- It marked the sixth game of his Kentucky career that he has thrown three touchdowns passes in a single game and the third instance this season.
- He improved to fifth in program history in career passing touchdowns with 40.
- Levis now has 4,712 passing yards in his Kentucky career, jumping to seventh in program history.
- He needs just 377 more to move into sixth.
- Levis has 16 career victories as UK’s starting quarterback, third on the school’s all-time list (starters stats available since 1993).
- Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 29 times for 112 yards.
- This was the 18th 100-yard game of his career, and the third time in five games this season, tying Sonny Collins for second place on the UK career list. He is now one away from tying the record of 19 century games by Benny Snell Jr.
- He has 3,311 career rushing yards and needs just 23 more rushing yards to move into third in program history.
- Freshman wide receiver Barion Brown had three receptions for 44 yards.
- He had 39-yard reception in UK’s first offensive play of the game, which marked his sixth 30+ yard reception of his young career and set Kentucky up for a touchdown on its first drive of the game.
- Freshman wide receiver Dane Key had four receptions for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the game.
- It marked the first time this season the rookie had at least two touchdowns receiving in a game this season.
- In his first score, he caught a nine-yard touchdown pass on UK’s opening drive of the game.
- In his second score, he caught a 22-yard touchdown pass under six minutes in the fourth quarter to help Kentucky reclaim the lead.
- Both TDs came on third down, 3rd-and-goal at the 9-yard line and 3rd-and-11 on the 22.
- With his first touchdown receiving in the game, he broke the program’s freshman single-season record, which was previously set at three touchdown catches set by Derek Abney (2000) and Tommy Cook (2001).
- He now leads the team with five touchdowns receiving this season.
- Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Dingle had three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown.
- His touchdown receiving in the third quarter marked the third touchdown receiving of his career, which is tied with Derek Abney (2000) and Tommy Cook (2001) for the second-most touchdowns receiving by a freshman in program history.
- His first two catches of the game, which combined for 34 yards, both came on third down on each of Kentucky’s first two drives.
- Brown, Dingle and Key have had a reception in all nine games this season.
- Freshman tight end Josh Kattus had his first career catch on a 10-yard reception for a first down in the second quarter.
- With his reception, UK now has had 17 different players catch a pass this season.
- Senior wide receiver Tayvion Robinson extended his streak to 34 straight games with a reception.
- Sophomore linebacker Trevin Wallace had his first sack the season for a loss of nine yards in the second quarter.
- Wallace finished with a team-lead and season-high nine total tackles, including a team-lead and season-high eight solo tackles and a team-lead and career-high three tackles for loss.
- Senior linebacker Jordan Wright recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
- He has five fumble recoveries in his career.
- Sophomore linebacker Trevin Wallace led the Wildcats with nine tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack.
- D’Eryk Jackson had eight tackles and J.J. Weaver and Andru Phillips had six total tackles apiece. Weaver also intercepted a desperation lateral on the final play of the game to clinch the win.
- Kicker Matt Ruffolo has 222 career points, needs four to tie Taylor Begley (226) for seventh place in UK history.
- Game captains: Offensive lineman Kenneth Horsey, quarterback Will Levis, running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and linebacker J. Weaver.