Kentucky Football: Rodriguez, Smoke ready to leave defenders in their wake

Kavosiey Smoke. (Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)
Kavosiey Smoke. (Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports) /
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With the Big Blue Wall built in front of them, receivers able to catch the ball outside the stage has been set for Kentucky football runningbacks Chris Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke to leave defenders in the rearview mirror this season.

Of all the positions on the Wildcat depth chart coming into the season, none were more set than the backfield duo. Which for new offensive coordinator Liam Coen was nice to have as he tries to instill a new NFL-style offense in the college game for the first time.

Players want to be on the field but probably none more than these two who are chomping on their mouth guard to line up with defenders just hoping they can even get an arm on them and not watch them heading downfield.

There is little doubt that opponents will see a lot of this two-head monster bursting through the line of scrimmage in 2021, and that is how this dynamic duo likes it.

Both are small and stature, but runs with a big chip on their shoulders, but has been the case with Kentucky running backs through the past several years when they were snubbed by their home state powers like Lynn Bowden and Benny Snell Jr.  (Ohio State) and Randall Cobb (Tennessee).

But their loss was Kentucky’s game and we all know how those three players excelled for the Wildcats.

Expect Rodriguez to get the opening touch when Kentucky runs its first offensive play. While Mark Stoops expanded his offensive thinking going out and getting Coen from the Los Angeles Rams, he is still old school at heart the revolves around good defense and a potent running game.

Fans may want to see balls flying all over the field from quarterback Will Levis, but Kentucky’s identity is its ability to run the ball.

Coen makes no bones he understands that is the Stoops and Wildcats way.

"“Really, we’re going into this game with our philosophy of being physical in the run game, trying to work our play action, keepers and our base pass game. I’ve got to believe that we’re going to try to be physical and run the ball and be Kentucky. That’s what we need to be in order to win games in the SEC.”"

With the junior duo, Kentucky can do almost anything on the ground and that’s fine with them.