Kentucky football: Class dismissed on ULM so what grades do Wildcats get?

Kentucky's Wan'Dale Robinson
Kentucky's Wan'Dale Robinson /
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Kentucky football earned a 45-10 win over Louisianna-Monroe on Saturday and here’s the report card for the Wildcats

It’s been a long time coming but Kentucky football fans have something to be happy about and those two words are – balanced attack.

The Wildcats looked impressive in all facets of the game in their 45-10 blowout of visiting Louisianna-Monroe on Saturday night.

I, like all of Big Blue Nation, will give them a pass on theirs and ULM, opening possessions where they stumbled out of the gate, but after that were in full stride in the romp that followed.

Granted we all buried our heads in our hands on the first drive interception and the bone-headed hands to the head penalty that kept the Warhawks alive when they took over and resulted in a touchdown.

But this team regrouped well and the strong leadership that exudes on both sides of the ball and on the sidelines could be counted as extra credit points. Far too many times we have watched them stumbling even farther, yet this team brushed it off and went to work dismantling ULM from there.

As I said when I recapped the five quick things we learned after the game, it wasn’t perfect which there never is or the game would be played by robots. It was a solid showing that game one exceeded what we have envisioned, and here are the grades for the offense, defense, special teams, and coaches.

Offense: A+

How could you not give them high praise and a grade that hasn’t been dealt out in a very long time?

While much can be attributed to the continual upgrade of talent and depth that continues to grow, but to see the sheer numbers the offense put up was staggering totaling 554 in total. The Wildcats ran for 135 behind Christopher Rodriguez’s 125 yards and a touchdown.

Levis had the hype coming into the game and boy did the Penn State transfer deliver. He admitted he was pretty nervous and jacked up to started the game which led to his first pass at warp speed that was high and behind Josh Ali and ended up being intercepted.

Levis took it in stride that his first pass as a Wildcat got picked off, but moved on.

"“First pass, definitely not (what we wanted). There were a lot of things here and there throughout the game that we were capable of doing that we just didn’t. That was one thing that I just needed a more accurate ball there so Josh could catch that ball. We will just clean that up and make those plays in bigger games for sure. I just kind of chuckled about it and turned it around for the rest of the game.”"

Then there were the long awaiting explosive plays downfield we have been clamoring for and Levis and his receivers delivered.

After that miscue, Levis completed 18 of 25 passes for 367 yards and four touchdowns breaking records as he went along. Don’t forget the 62-yard bomb he dropped into Wan’Dale Robinson’s arms for the touchdown that sent fans into a frenzy.

Robinson, who came home to the Bluegrass from Oklahoma, also didn’t disappoint with 5 catches for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Ali grabbed five for 136 yards and a score.

Tight end Brenden Bates also was the target for a TD, his first as a Wildcat.

Kudos to the Big Blue Wall for the great protection with Levis having plenty of time to throw and only taking 3 sacks, none that were glaring.

Stoops, by coaching default and speak, will always say they can get better but overall was all smiles after the game.

"“Obviously it’s what I’ve been looking for, and I’m very happy about that. I talked a lot about it in the spring that we were getting the ball completed down the field. Will wasn’t here, but just the offense in general, the receivers gaining some confidence. We built on that this summer, and it was great to see them just complete passes, just the basics. We still have a lot of work to do with making the routine look routine. We have some pitch and catches out there that we’re fighting a little bit, but we’ll continue to get better.”"

He has the confidence and leadership to guide this team to great things this season. The Big Blue Wall just has to keep him healthy and protected and the weapons around him will do their part.