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The opening game of the 2021 season kicked off today at Kroger Field as the Kentucky Wildcats faced off against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Not only did the game start the beginning of what looks to be a promising season for the Wildcats, it also was Mark Stoops 100th game as the head coach of the Cats.
The anxiety and adrenaline of playing in front of a crowd for the first time in over a year showed at the beginning of the game, but after the first interception the Cats settled in and handle business and put the Warhawks away early winning the game 45 to 10.
The Big Blue Nation were eagerly awaiting the first appearance from the junior transfer quarterback Will Levis since his commitment back in February. However, Levis’ first pass was tipped by Josh Ali and intercepted by ULM. It didn’t take long for the fans to see what the new quarterback is capable of when on the following drive he threw a 33-yard pass for a touchdown and he followed it up with a 58-yard pass for a touchdown. Levis ended the game with 367 passing yards on 18 of 26 passing.
The receiving duo of Josh Ali and Wan’dale Robinson were very impressive and received over 100 yards each which hadn’t been accomplished since the 2011 season. Ali finished the game with 136 yards receiving and one touchdown. Robinson scored two touchdowns with 125 yards receiving.
The defense played did great playing aggressively without leaving the passing game open. They only allowed one touchdown early in the first after an interception gave ULM a short field. They only gave up 17 rushing yards while only giving up 70 passing yards for the entire game.
Kentucky will need another great performance when they face the first SEC matchup next week against Missouri which will be a 7:30 kickoff at Kroger Field.
Kentucky’s first drive of the season starts on the 25-yard line after a kick sails into the endzone and after a couple of carries Chris Rodriguez picks up the first down, but Kentucky gave the ball up after Will Levis’ first pass as a Wildcat is intercepted. The Warhawks were the first on the board after several Kentucky penalties lead to a 11-play drive for a touchdown by Kayden Roach.
Kentucky scored on the following drive on a 33-yard pass from Will Levis to Wandle Robinson to pull the Cats to even at 7. After a quick three-and-out Kentucky got the football and scored on another bomb by Will Levis to Josh Ali for a 58-yard touchdown. The first quarter ended with the Cats leading 14 to 7.
Kentucky continued their drive and scored on a rush by Chris Rodriguez with 10:40 left in the second to put the Wildcats up 21 to 7. Kavosiey Smoke fumbled on the Cats following possession, but Wan’dale Robinson Scored another receiving touchdown on a pass from Will Levis pushing the lead to 28 to 7 to end the first half.
It was a slow third quarter with the only score being a 45-yard field goal with l 3:54 left in the third by Matt Ruffolo.
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to score in the first half when Will Levis threw a 4-yard pass to Brenden Bates for his first career touchdown making the score 38-7. Louisiana-Monroe tacked on 3 more points with a field goal by Calum Sutherland to put the Warhawks into double figures 38-10. The Wildcats tacked on one last touchdown with a rush by Mike Drennen to end the game 45 to 10.