The Kentucky Wildcats were back in action under the lights on Saturday night at Kroger Field for a matchup against Akron.
It was a fantastic start for the Cats as they took their first drive right down the field, and Devin Leary hit Josh Kattus for the 7-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the offensive struggles that we have been seeing this season hit after the first drive.
Luckily, the Kentucky defense was continuing to do its job and kept Akron from scoring in the first half.
With 8 seconds remaining in the half, Leary hit Tayvion Robinson for a 22-yard touchdown to make it a 14-0 ballgame at the break.
The second half didn’t get off to a great start, but then Ray Davis happened for this offense.
On back-to-back possessions, Davis had a 58-yard touchdown reception followed by a 55-yard touchdown run to push Kentucky’s lead to 28-3 over Akron.
Down the stretch, the Cats continued to take some shots down the field but were not able to connect.
Late in the game, an injury scare with Leary led to Kaiya Sheron taking over at quarterback for the rest of the game.
After an explosive run by Demi Sumo-Karngbaye for 42 yards, he was able to finish the drive with a 4-yard TD run to make it 35-3, and that would be the final score of this one.
The Cats needed someone to step up with the offense struggling to move the ball at times. On Saturday, that player was Ray Davis making him tonight’s MVP.
Davis has established himself as the featured back in Kentucky’s offense, but he is doing damage in more ways than just on the ground.
For the game, he finished with 7 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, averaging 10.3 yards per carry. However, he also added 3 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
With SEC play approaching, the Cats needed someone to step up and start making big plays for this offense, and it looks like Davis is starting to become that guy.
Hopefully, we will start to see more players on this offense start stepping up and making big plays moving forward.
Several former Wildcats, including Tim Couch and Jojo Kemp, serving as honorary captains tonight on 50th anniversary of Commonwealth Stadium.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) September 16, 2023
The way Leary is absolutely unfazed by dudes rolling over his feet is always going to amaze me.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 16, 2023
The Ass-Kicker is in the End Zone.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 16, 2023
Touchdown Josh Kattus.
Maxwell Hairston makes two back to back huge plays and forces Akron to punt.— Jacob Childers (@JacobChildersCC) September 17, 2023
Great catch by Jordan Dingle but you just can’t Fumble in that situation— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 17, 2023
Trevin Wallace does Trevin Wallace things.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 17, 2023
Sick of sloppy football, man— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) September 17, 2023
I think Tayvion Robinson took UK coaches' offseason challenge to heart.— Jon Hale (@JonHale_HL) September 17, 2023
He's been UK's best WR through three games. A great catch for Cats' second TD.
Kentucky 14, Akron 0 (0:08, 2Q).
Last 2 halves of football for Devin Leary— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2023
+14.0 yards per attempt (!!!)
+56.7% passing success rate https://t.co/GSxSZAmlCM
Hairston again. Nice game so far.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 17, 2023
Kentucky now up to 33 offensive plays. At this pace, we'll never see the 70s. PICK UP THE PACE!— John Huang (@KYHuangs) September 17, 2023
Dane and Jager probably need to sit this game out— Landon (@LandonTackett3) September 17, 2023
Went from a bomb to Anthony Brown-Stephens for a touchdown that was brought back for holding, to the next play having an interception. Brutal. Got to have some consistency here soon..— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) September 17, 2023
The story of this game is (once again) self-inflicted mistakes). The Jager hold and Dingle fumble both should have been Touchdowns— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 17, 2023
But you keep making such mistakes and it isn’t bad luck, it’s a pattern
The bottom line is Devin Leary, Ray Davis, and Tayvion Robinson are carrying this offense and they need a lot more help.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 17, 2023
So much talk of upping the tempo to maximize play totals. Only to get snaps off with five seconds on the clock every down.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 17, 2023
Then commit penalties, sail the ball over the QB’s head or miss blocks anyway. Wasting time and making the same mistakes you’re trying to avoid playing fast
That was an unbelievable play by Devin Leary. Unreal.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2023
Nearly sacked twice. Somehow pulled away, squeezed off a sidearm pass to RB Ray Davis, who reversed field for a 58-yard TD.
Really ridiculous play.
Who would have thought the best player on Kentucky’s roster would be from Vanderbilt.— Berkley’s Pops ™️ (@BrandoAKing) September 17, 2023
We’re lucky to have him.
Big boy football by Ray Davis.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2023
Ray Davis. Special. Dawg. Him. All of it.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 17, 2023
Story of the night for Kentucky: Everything is a big play or a big mistake. Cats get another stop, muff the punt. So many unforced errors.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 17, 2023
Trevin Wallace is so good, I mean so good but when I am standing on the field I see the attention a defense has to give Walker.— Dylan Ballard (@DylanBallard_UK) September 17, 2023
Opens up so much. Constant double teams.
I know Cats have had a couple of HUGE plays on offense, but Akron has kept the ball far longer than anticipated and leads in time of possession. And Kentucky has only run 45 offensive plays.— John Huang (@KYHuangs) September 17, 2023
Really impressive running by Sumo-Karngbaye on that drive. Run game still has questions to answer, but if you take the -21 yard play out Kentucky has averaged 7.5 yards per carry tonight.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 17, 2023
FINAL: Kentucky 35, Akron 3— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 17, 2023
Cats improve to 3-0 on season with SEC play opening next week at Vanderbilt.
Kentucky scored 35 points in 49 snaps.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 17, 2023
FINAL: The Cats win tonight at Akron 35-3.— Wyatt Huff (@Wildcat_wave) September 17, 2023
A lot of self-inflicted offensive mistakes, but the offense was led today by the top players Ray Davis, Tayvion Robinson, and Devin Leary (Leary exited the game after a hard sack in the 4th Q). Defense played very well, especially QB…
Lack of consistency leads to underwhelming and uninspiring games. A W is a W though and I'll much whether the W. But we have to tighten up the repeating loose lugnut.— Van Hiles (@vstyles17) September 17, 2023
Congrats to coach Stoops and Big Blue Nation on the win tonight. Big job by the defense. Go Cats!!— Rich Brooks (@UKcoachbrooks) September 17, 2023