Kentucky Football: Quick 5 things we learned from Wildcats mauling ULM

Kentucky's Brendan Bates
Kentucky's Brendan Bates /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Will Levis is the real deal with a deadly arm

Will Levis chose to transfer to Kentucky because he wanted a place to start and throw the ball.

It’s safe to say that he got his wish.

Levis is smart, poised, has a complete grasp of the game, and is a true leader on the field – all attributes that were on display against ULM.

While the Warhawks put little pressure on him, this game provided him the opportunity to get his game rhythm going and connect with receivers before live fans at Kroger Field.

His balls spiraled perfectly verticle downfield.  Yes, verticle is something we haven’t seen from a Kentucky quarterback in years. Gone are the days of dink, dunk, and bubble screens. Well at least not on every play.

Levis completed 18 of 26 passes with one interception for 367 yards, a percentage of 69.2 percent and four touchdown passes. The lone interception came on his first throw as a Wildcat to Josh Ali that bounced off Ali’s hands and into those of the Warhawks.

A big of the blame on both as the throw was a bit high and behind him with Levis admitting he was pretty nervous, but Ali should have had a better effort to haul it in.

"“I was nervous for sure. I know that I have the experience and it’s not my first time playing a college football game. But it was the first time starting for a new program, pretty high expectations and I knew a lot of people were waiting to see how the game goes.  After the first play, the nerves kind just went away but I think the nerves where a good thing. It was an indication of highs expectations and it means that I care a lot about the team and the outcome and how it goes. Things went pretty well and I’m glad the game went how it did."

His following three passes were 19 yards to Ali, a 33-yard touchdown to Wan’Dale Robinson, and a 53-yard laser to Ali for another touchdown. The bomb to Ali had everyone gasping at the trajectory and perfection.

Robinson’s was just as sweet except for the fact there wasn’t a ULM defender near him as he crossed the field toward the left endzone. Robinson also pulled in a 15-yard score. He talked after the game about his dream coming true.

"“It was amazing. I’ve grown up coming to these games as a recruit and even as a young kid just envisioning myself scoring touchdowns here. For it to finally happen during my first game in the stadium it was great.”"

After that, he had pass completions that included yards of 9, 23, 12, 24, and 21. Kentucky completed 53 passes over 10 yards in the entire 2020 season.

Another highlight real was uncorking a 57-yarder to Isaiah Epps on third-and-eight at the ULM 35-yeard line that helped set up another touchdown.

He capped off his day with a 4-yard toss to tightened Brenden Bates crossing the back of the end-zone for the junior’s first score as a Wildcat.

Levis became the first UK passer to throw for over 300 yards since Stephen Johnson had 338 against Louisville in 2016.

As his numbers grew the question of Stoops promising to eat a whole banana including the peel should Levis go over 400 yards that were promised to SEC sideline reporter Alyssa Lang become more of a topic of conversation?

But he exited and gave way to Beau Allen instead. Stoops is safe for this week.