The Kentucky Wildcats were back in action on Saturday as they were looking to improve to 3-0 in 2022 with a matchup against Youngstown State.
It was a very slow start for Kentucky’s offense as their first three possessions went punt, punt, interception.
However, the defense has been outstanding all season and that was the case again as they gave up just one 1st down the entire half, forced a punt on every possession, and blocked a punt giving the offense great field position.
Despite not taking advantage of that, the offense got the ball back on the 35-yard line and this time found the end zone as Will Levis punched it in from 1-yard out to make it 7-0.
On the very next possession, the Cats went 77 yards in just 8 plays as Levis hits Dane Key for a 3-yard TD (Key’s 3rd straight game with a receiving TD) giving the Cats a 14-0 lead.
Kentucky would get the ball back with just under two minutes remaining in the half and Levis led an excellent nine-play 71-yard drive hitting Chris Lewis for the two-yard TD making it 21-0 heading into the break.
The second half, got off to a much better start for the offense.
After a turnover on downs forced by the defense, the Cats drove right down the field and Kavosiey Smoke ran it in from seven yards out to make it 28-0.
It looked like Kentucky was going to give up their first touchdown of the day, but Carrington Valentine got an interception in the end zone.
Kentucky was putting together another solid drive, but Levis threw a pass too high and Youngstown State picked him off for the second time today.
Offense would get the ball back after another defensive stop. A screen pass to DeMarcus Harris set the Cats up inside the 5-yard line but would have to settle for a field goal, making it 31-0.
Kentucky’s defense was able to force another turnover on downs to seal the shutout as the Cats win it 31-0.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
Cat Walk always a great time! pic.twitter.com/if9pjSHOIO— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 17, 2022
Stoops family on the field as Mark Stoops is being honored for breaking UK's all-time wins record.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) September 17, 2022
Cool moment for Mark with his mother, brothers and sons alongside.
J.J. Weaver was shaken up after a third down stop by Kentucky. Mark Stoops is checking on his talented edge rusher.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 17, 2022
Talked about it in pregame show. YSU crowding line and playing games up front.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 17, 2022
Youngstown State with two sacks and stuffing the run through two Kentucky possessions is … not reassuring about the Wildcats’ progress up front.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2022
Second blocked punt of the season for Kentucky. Third phase gives the Cats much-needed shot in the arm.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2022
Just when it looked like Kentucky was about to score, Levis throws an interception near the goal line. Just a bad start by the offense.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 17, 2022
UK offense -- 2 QB sacks, 5 tackles for loss, one interception, 48 yards so far. Not impressive start against Penguins— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) September 17, 2022
Stoops taking it easy on his hometown team, respect.— All Things Kentucky (@BBNWonka) September 17, 2022
Wow!! if Robinson would’ve landed that hurdle and scored, it would’ve been the play of the year lmao— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) September 17, 2022
Kentucky defense has yet to allow a first down today thru the first 20 minutes of play. That side of the ball has been really dialed in.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 17, 2022
UK middle linebackers are really good at the football game.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 17, 2022
Tayvion Robinson out here with a Dicky Lyons block— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) September 17, 2022
That's now three touchdowns in three games for Dane Key. Kid's something.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 17, 2022
That route by Key isn’t as easy as he made it look.— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) September 17, 2022
A great run by La'Vell Wright is erased by a fumble. The Kentucky four-minute offense was cooking. *sigh*— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 17, 2022
Kentucky's inability to run the ball... now against Youngstown State... is extremely concerning.— Locked on Kentucky (@LockedOnUK) September 17, 2022
Will be fascinated to see what the offense looks like (if anything even changes) when Chris Rodriguez comes back against Ole Miss. #BBN
2.5 yards per play and one first down for Youngstown State through one half— Locked on Kentucky (@LockedOnUK) September 17, 2022
Brad White continuing to coach lights out defense #BBN
Kentucky’s defense is very good. Gave up 54 yards and just one first down in the half. That’ll do. pic.twitter.com/dLeP7Di4IG— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2022
WOW. Carrington Valentine with two incredible PBUs, one to save a TD, after giving up a long one on the first snap of the half. That's the resiliency, short-term memory you have to have at CB.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 17, 2022
Kavosiey Smoke 7-yard TD run. That's the first rushing TD for a UK RB this season.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) September 17, 2022
Josh Allen one-legged rip there from Will Levis to move the chains. That thing had some velocity.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2022
I can't wait to see us play a complete game on offense...this can be really scary.— Van Hiles (@vstyles17) September 17, 2022
Pass was incomplete but Levis just threw it 55 yards off balance under pressure— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) September 17, 2022
Totaling up sacks, tackles for loss and runs for no gain by Kentucky’s offense so far today against Youngstown State.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2022
That number is 12. That number is very bad.
Keaten Wade with the 3rd down sack. Redshirt and true freshmen on both sides of the football are skilled.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 17, 2022
We don't have a DUDE like Josh Allen but this might be the best and most complete defense of the Stoops era.— Van Hiles (@vstyles17) September 17, 2022
Something’s gotta change for Will. Not sure if he’s being rushed or what, but these interceptions and lack of ball security are going to be his biggest downfall in his game evaluations. Gotta be near perfect during conference play.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) September 17, 2022
Kentucky freshman class is so good. Alex Afari, Dane Key, Barion Brown, Deone Walker all real difference-makers Day 1.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2022
Great play by Harris!!— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) September 17, 2022
10 different players have caught a pass today
Red Zone, gotta start putting those in the end zone.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 17, 2022
Another scoring opp stop this time by Kentucky's 2s should give the Cats their first shutout since 2009. Strong performance from defense against what's been an explosive Youngstown State offense.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2022
Former Somerset star Kaiya Sheron in at QB for UK's last drive. Kiyaunta Goodwin and Dee Beckwith also in for Kentucky.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) September 17, 2022
Kentucky football just earned its first shutout in 4,760 days…— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) September 17, 2022
The Cats pitch the first shutout of the Mark Stoops era!— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) September 17, 2022