Kentucky Football: Uninspired, lethargic Wildcats fend of Chattanooga

Kentucky Wildcats players celebrate (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats players celebrate (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky football
Tyrell Ajian of Kentucky (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The bad can’t overshadow some awesome firsts for UK players

I can’t deliver all the bad news. After all, a win is a win and there were a good amount of great firsts for several Kentucky players.

The biggest was the game-saving play by Tyrell Ajian who picked off a pass at the Kentucky 5-yard line and raced for a 95-yard pick-six touchdown in the fourth quarter changing the trajectory of the game and helping seel the win.

It is the first score for the senior safety and ties for the third-longest interception return in school history and the longest since David Johnson’s 95-yard TD return at Cincinnati in 1986. It also sets the record for the longest UK interception return in Commonwealth Stadium/Kroger Field history.

Ajian knew when he picked off the pass it was off to the races.

"“Once I caught the pick, the rest of the defense couldn’t have done any better blocking, I didn’t get touched the whole way, so shout out to the defense and the D-Line. A bunch of guys were running with the whole way blocking. … “Everyone kind of describes me as a ball hog, just being able to track the ball really well as it’s in the air. I just get a lot of opportunities and showcase that.”"

Josh Ali grabbed five balls for 53 yards and puts him over 100 receiving catches making him the 18th Cat to do so.

Wan’Dale Robinson became the first Kentucky player to have three-straight 100-yard receiving games since Derek Abney in 2001. He is also the first Wildcat to have three-straight 100-yard receiving games to begin a season.

Junior wide receiver Isaiah Epps caught two passes for 21 yards, including his first career touchdown on a 20-yard reception in the second quarter.

How about wide receiver turned tight end Izayah Cummings getting his first collegiate touchdown pass, by pulling in a 31-yard play in the fourth quarter.

On the defensive side, you have to give big props to the secondary who came up big when the Wildcats needed them to.

Cornerback Carrington Valentine always seems to be making huge stops for the Cats. and the sophomore had a career-high 11 tackles.

Senior linebacker Jacquez Jones had a career-high nine tackles, but more importantly, broke up a pass that saved a likely Chattanooga touchdown.

Senior safety Yusuf Corker had six tackles and tied his career-best for pass breakups with two.

JJ Weaver just keeps impressing me week after week. I watched him at Moore High School and knew Kentucky was getting a special player and he delivered in his first collegiate start, Weaver made four tackles, including a three-yard tackle for loss. He has made at least one TFL in each of the first three games.

We can end it here on these good notes and hope next week there will be more good than bad.