Kentucky Football: Wildcats end losing streak but can’t slam door on Vandy

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., (Credit: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kentucky’s offense efficient and balanced early, Rodriguez goes over 1,000 yards

The UK offense was efficient and balanced in the way we know it can and should be led by Chris Rodriguez carrying 16 times for 144 yards and a touchdown. Those yards sent him over 1,000 on the season.

Last year he carried 119 times and finished with 794 yards and 11 touchdowns in a shortened season.

This was his fifth 100-yard game of the season and is tied for fifth place in school history in 100-yard rushing games with 11.

This season he has racked up 1,032 yards this season, becoming the 10th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards. He is the 14th Cat to do so.  For his career, he has 2,393 career rushing yards, which is good for ninth all-time.

Unfortunately, most of the offensive highlights came before Liam Coen started monkeying around again with the offense and bogging things down, and frustrating the fan base.

This team needed a blowout. Instead, the closing drive of the first half was all over the place and resulted in no points despite the fact UK would get the ball to start the second half.

The result was turning it over on downs and then opening the second half with a punt, a field goal that should have been a touchdown, punt, and running the clock out on downs.

In the opening 25 minutes, it was a thing of beauty. Will Levis started the game completing his first seven passes and was crisp and confident.

Izayah Cummings lept over a defender to pull down a 22-yard touchdown in the back of the endzone on the first play of the second quarter for his third TD of the year and second in two games.

That drive took just three plays to go 71-yards in just 45 seconds due in part to a sweet 39-yard pass from Levis to Wan’Dale Robinson.

We really have to enjoy watching Robinson play because Big Blue Nation only has two regular games left against New Mexico State and Louisville and then whomever the bowl opponent will be before he heads to the NFL. That is assuming he chooses to play in a bowl game.

He finished with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. He also had one carry for 23 yards.

Rodriguez was running as a man possessed. He ripped off a 30-yard run and followed it up with a 5-yard touchdown run to give UK a 28-3 lead with 10:43 left in the half. He plowed over defenders like we love to watch him do.

Kentucky didn’t even have to run a third-down play until 4:38 left in the half until facing a 3rd and 10 at the Vanderbilt 22 yard line.

Unfortunately, Coen stopped giving C-Rod the ball as the offense sputtered again going away from Kentucky’s bread and butter run game.

In the second half, Kentucky really had one bright spot and that was JuTahn McClain. He showed why he will be the next stud runner in the backfield with nine carries for 68 yards.