Kentucky Football: Wildcats loss to Vols hard to swallow in so many ways

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson /
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The Kentucky football team came one play short of running 100 against Tennesee and piled up 612 yards of offense but on the scoreboard, they fell 3 points shorts losing a heartbreaking 45-42 that left everyone with a bitter Orange taste.

Even more astounding was the time of possession where UK had it in their hands for an eye-popping 46:08 minutes while the Vols ran 47 plays for 461 yards in only 13:52.

The offense finally put everything together after a dismal performance against Mississippi State in their 31-17 loss, and it was the defense who got picked apart this week for big quick hit touchdowns.

That included the opening drive from scrimage where Tennessee scored on a 75-yard bubble screen on their second play needing just 11 seconds.

Kentucky football fought back time and time again but falls just short

But Kentucky went back to the basics of running, running, and more running setting up Will Levis to throw balls to Wan’Dale Robinson and Izahyah Cummings for some big plays.

Levis even had a career night completing 31 of 49 passes for a career-best 372 yards, but his one interception mistake resulted in a pick-six 55-yard score for Tennessee.

A dejected Mark Stoops took a long time to come out and meet the media afterward.

"“Absolutely incredible football game. Extremely disappointed for our players and our fans. Very difficult loss. Not sure I’ve been a part of one quite like that where we’re so good in so many ways and absolutely not good enough in so many different ways as well. So a lot of great things to build on offensively. Haven’t had production like that for some time. And it was so good to see.”"

If just for one game the offense and defense could play in sync this Kentucky football team would be impressive. Unfortunately, that hasn’t come consistently this year.

This result left Kentucky wounded and you have to wonder how they will pick themselves up off the turf after their third straight defeat to Georgia, Mississippi State, and now the Vols. They were in a position to be the third-best overall in the Southeastern Conference and that too has slipped away.

It wasn’t lost on what could have been because every time Tennessee stretched the lead, Kentucky would answer right back keeping it within reach.

So what happened? Here are the quick takeaways. There were many but these stand out.