The Kentucky Wildcats were back in action on Saturday for a matchup and Eastern Kentucky as they look to start the season 2-0.
It was an awful start for the Cats as the offense went 3-and-out, followed by a blocked punt, and EKU capitalized by punching it in the end zone for a 7-0 lead early.
Unfortunately, it did not get any prettier for the Kentucky offense throughout the first half.
Kentucky was dropping passes, missing throws, and committing way too many penalties that resulted in an ugly first-half performance.
However, right before halftime, Devin Leary hit Tayvion Robinson for a touchdown to send the game into the break tied at 7.
The second half did not get off to a better start as EKU was able to march right down the field and convert a field goal to retake the lead 10-7.
Finally, Kentucky’s offense was able to put a solid drive together and answered the EKU field goal with the second touchdown reception by Robinson to make it a 14-10 ballgame.
After a defensive stop, the offense kept the momentum rolling as Leary hit Barion Brown in the end zone to make it a 21-10 lead.
EKU wasn’t going to go away as they answered right back with a TD drive of their own to make it a 21-17 ballgame with just over 12 minutes to play.
Once again, Kentucky’s offense was able to put together a scoring drive as Leary hit Ray Davis, who found the end zone to make it 28-17.
Down the stretch, the Cats were able to get a stop and run out the clock to come away with the 28-17 win over EKU.
There was one player on each side of the ball that kept making huge impact plays in this game, and that was Trevin Wallace and Tayvion Robinson, making them today’s Co-MVPs.
Wallace finished the game with 7 total tackles (1 for loss), a sack, and a forced fumble. Not on the stat sheet is the constant pressure that he was putting on EKU’s quarterback.
On a day that most of the Cats seemed to be running in mud, Wallace brought the intensity right from the opening kick and maintained that intensity throughout.
As for Robinson, he was responsible for the offensive success that we saw on Saturday, as he and Leary seemed to be on the same page.
Robinson finished with 5 catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had one carry and took it for a 56-yard gain.
Now Kentucky needs the rest of the roster to start matching the energy that we saw from Wallace and Robinson on Saturday.
Who was your MVP today? Let us know your pick in the comments section!
Final score from Kroger Field. pic.twitter.com/F7Y34jJSFB— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 9, 2023
Just absolutely my favorite UK football uni combo— BEEZY (@Burke_Franklin_) September 9, 2023
White on blue works so well
Bad start for Kentucky. Leary gets drilled on a third down incompletion followed by a blocked punt.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 9, 2023
One of Kentucky’s OL on that Punt Block literally watched a dude run right by him and did absolutely nothing— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 9, 2023
Nothing can literally ever be just chill with this program— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) September 9, 2023
Couldn’t start any worse but best believe we’ll be fine— DeAndre Square (@d_square10) September 9, 2023
PUNTER U IS BACK BABY— The Kentucky Logo (@TheKentuckyLogo) September 9, 2023
Stoops really has his guys locked in. Atlanta here they come.— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) September 9, 2023
Maxwell Hairston picks it off! Kentuckys defense is doing its part. Offense needs to hold up their end of the bargain.— Jacob Childers (@JacobChildersCC) September 9, 2023
As far as Kentucky's offense is concerned, when does "embarrassing" become "alarming"? Were we all sold a bill of goods?— John Huang (@KYHuangs) September 9, 2023
Mark Stoops seems more focused on not embarrassing his friends at EKU than coaching his team.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 9, 2023
So much talk of snap numbers last week and needing live opportunities to work on things, yet he’s driving the pace of this game into the dirt.
Good News: Wilson Berry has two 50+ yard punts.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 9, 2023
Bad News: Kentucky has punted four times against a team that gave up 66 a week ago.
I never imagined Kentucky could look THIS bad. We’re seeing why TV didn’t want the game.— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) September 9, 2023
Kentucky gets on the board (finally) just less than a minute before halftime. Devin Leary to Tayvion Robinson.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) September 9, 2023
Stoops really fired these guys up at the half!— Round Daddy (@JStreble82) September 9, 2023
Trevin Wallace has been a factor this entire game. He’s putting major pressure on the quarterback.— Tres Terrell (@TerrellTres) September 9, 2023
Tayvion Robinson has been Devin Leary's guy today. Four catches on four targets for 74 yards and a touchdown.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) September 9, 2023
Cats are finally cooking. Devin Leary finds Barion Brown for the wide-open score to make it 21-10 Kentucky with 1:47 to go in the third.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 9, 2023
Early in the season it's felt like whenever Devin Leary was at his best, the pass-catchers weren't. Or when they got open, the QB couldn't hit em.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 9, 2023
Wide open Barion Brown catching an easy TD is what we've been waiting to see.
Ray Davis continues to flash as a receiving weapon. Nice high red zone call by Liam Coen on the throwback. A great throw by Devin Leary with ball placement. That's 4 consecutive TD drives for the offense after a brutal start to this game.— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 9, 2023
Devin Leary has accounted for 61% of UK total yardage.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 9, 2023
We saw last year that persistent struggles in September did foretell season-long difficulties. While today has been very concerning, the one difference is it's not as easy to point to one unit as obviously "broken" compared to the OL early last year. Still, at some point you need…— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 9, 2023
Things you don't want to see in a harder-than-expected win over an FCS team: star running back Ray Davis going down with a wrist injury in the fourth quarter.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 9, 2023
Winning ugly > Losing pretty— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) September 9, 2023
Thought the defense played well in the 1H and the offense played well in the 2H. But we didn't see much complementary football from Kentucky today. A lot to work with one more tune-up set for Week 3.
Kentucky 28, EKU 17 | F
Ugly but a win is a win— DeAndre Square (@d_square10) September 9, 2023