(From UK Athletics)
Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed for 147 yards and quarterback Will Levis accounted for five touchdowns as No. 16/14 Kentucky topped LSU 42-21 on Saturday night at Kroger Field. With the win, Kentucky moved to 6-0 on the season and 4-0 in the SEC. It’s the first time Kentucky has been 6-0 since 1950 and just the fifth time in school history.
Kavosiey Smoke also had a big night on the ground for the Cats, amassing 104 yards rushing. UK quarterback Will Levis had 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as Kentucky rushed for 330 yards as a team. Levis hit on 14 of 17 passing for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Wan’Dale Robinson was the favorite target for Levis on this evening, catching eight passes for 60 yards and a score. LSU (3-3, 1-3) took the opening possession and made a pair of first downs before the UK defense made yet another big play. DeAndre Square sacked LSU quarterback Max Johnson and forced a fumble that was recovered by Josaih Hayes at the LSU 44 yard line. Kentucky would convert the turnover into points.
The Cats drove into the LSU red zone and, on fourth-and-goal from the three, Levis connected with Rodriguez on a touchdown pass in the right side of the end zone. Matt Ruffolo added the PAT and UK grabbed a 7-0 lead with 6:17 to play in the first quarter.
On its next possession, LSU opened on their own 25 yard line and drove into Kentucky territory. However, on fourth-and-one from the UK 31, Johnson’s pass intended for Jack Bech fell incomplete and the Cats took over.
Near the end of the first quarter, Kentucky drove into LSU’s end again. Rodriguez went up the middle for 17 yards, then Levis connected with Justin Rigg on a 34-yard pass play, getting the Cats inside the red zone. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Levis hit a diving Wan’Dale Robinson for an 11-yard score. Ruffolo’s PAT was good at Kentucky led 14-0 with 14:54 left in the half.
The next five possessions would result in punts, three for LSU and two for Kentucky. With the last possession of the half, UK drove near midfield before running out of time. UK would take a 14-0 lead into the break.
Kentucky got the ball to start the second half and, after starting at their own 25 yard line, the Cats drove into LSU territory on the legs of Rodriguez, who had a 22-yard rush on the drive, and Levis, who scampered for 33 yards to get to the LSU six yard line.
Two plays later, Levis rushed one yard for the touchdown, extending the UK lead. Ruffolo added the point after and Kentucky led 21-0 with 10:57 left in the third period.
LSU answered with its first scoring drive of the game. The Tigers covered 75 yards in nine plays, capped by a one-yard touchdown rush from Tyrion Davis-Price. Cade York added the PAT and the UK lead was 21-7 with 6:43 left in the third quarter.
However, Kentucky responded immediately. On the ensuing drive, the Cats used a nice mix of pass and run to take the ball down the field and into scoring position. On the final play of the drive, Levis ran left and scored a five-yard touchdown, his second of the game. Ruffolo added the PAT and UK led 28-7 with just 1:06 to play in the third quarter.
After LSU gave the ball up on downs, the Cats took possession and extended the lead. Kentucky needed just three plays to cover 56 yards. Levis connected with Robinson on a 16-yard pass. Then Smoke rushed up the middle for 16 yards and finally, Levis connected with Ju’than McClain on a 10-yard touchdown pass, the first touchdown of McClain’s career. Ruffolo made another PAT and the Cats led 35-7 with 12:07 left in the game.
LSU would add a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to cut the lead to 35-21. The Tigers would try an onside kick but Rigg recovered. Then the Cats marched 44 yards in just four plays, all rushes by Rodriguez. The final play was an 18-yard scoring run and Ruffolo’s PAT made it 42-21 with 4:23 to play.
Kentucky will return to action on Saturday, visiting No. 2 Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. Kickoff is set for 3:30 ET and the game can be seen on CBS.