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Kentucky vs. Louisville; Postgame Notes and Game MVP



Tristan Pharis/KY Insider

If you asked in September who would win this year’s Governor’s Cup, it would be a near unanimous answer for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Through the first five games, the Wildcats were ranked No. 13 in the country and had a 4-1 record. Whereas the Louisville Cardinals were just 2-3, which included a loss to a Boston College tram that is is just 3-8 (as of this article).

Going into Saturday, the Wildcats were still favored by 3.5, but the matchup looked a bit different. Louisville came in ranked 25th in the country, winning 5 of their last 6, compared to Kentucky’s 2-4 record which pushed them out of the rankings after week 9.


With that said, this matchup was not expected to be the blowout that is has in recent season, and it wasn’t.

After one half, Kentucky had the lead 13-7, but that score did not tell the story. In fact, Kentucky dominated much of the first half but scored a touchdown on just one of their three scoring opportunities – one of which was a recovered fumble at the Louisville six-yard line – settling for two field goals. Due to this, the Cardinals were still just one score away.

Coming out of the half, Louisville got the first possession but couldn’t capitalize and Kentucky responded with a field goal. This was followed up with an interception from Malik Cunningham at their own 16-yard line, and Kentucky was able to score a touchdown and extend the lead to double-digits, 23-7.

From that point, the game never was really in question as the Wildcats retained the Governor’s Cup for a fourth straight matchup.



The Kentucky football program will be extremely lucky if Brad White sticks around too much longer. The fourth-year defensive coordinator has had a top-five SEC defense – in terms of opponent points and yards – in each season he has been with the Wildcats, but this year may be his most impressive job yet.

Replacing important losses on the defensive line and secondary, there were some question marks coming into the season. However, with an experienced linebacker group and plenty of young talent with big upside, Kentucky was actually able to improve on their numbers from last season – 21.7 ppg (2021) vs 19.6 ppg (2022); 340.8 ypg (2021) vs 321.2 ypg (2022).

On Saturday, that story continued.

Until Louisville’s last drive in the second half – where they rushed for 56 yards alone – the Kentucky defense held Louisville to just 84 total yards. In addition, they had two sacks, four tackles for loss, and a critical 4th & 1 hold in the red zone, but did drop two potential interceptions.


To start the second half, the Kentucky defense carried that momentum, forcing a 3-and-out which was followed by an interception that Kentucky was able to score a touchdown on.

Change Will be Made

I say this with no inside information, but expect some coaching changes within the coming weeks.

Outside of an 86-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter, which was highlighted by a 70-yard reception by freshman tight-end, Josh Kattus – Kentucky’s offense still has not performed up to their capability.

In total, Kentucky had 346 total yards – their highest amount since Mississippi State in October – but that was overshadowed by questionable play calling as Kentucky scored just two touchdowns within the Louisville 25-yard line.


With the win, Kentucky moves to 7-5, but with the number of offensive weapons this roster has, it is still a disappointing finish.

Given the amount of negativity surrounding the offense and some of the comments that have been said by the players themselves, it is hard to imagine that Rich Scangarello will be welcomed back for another season.

Kentucky Has to Retain Their Young Talent

Five players caught a pass for the Wildcats on Saturday, four of those being freshmen (redshirt or true). This includes both of Kentucky’s touchdowns, with passes caught by Dane Key and Barion Brown.

On the other side of the ball, freshman Deone Walker had a career game as he tied a career-high six tackles, had .5 of a sack, and forced a fumble. In addition, freshman Jordan Lovett made the game-clinching interception on Louisville’s final offensive possession.


On Monday Stoops talked about the “free-for-all” for his talented freshmen, and with a lackluster recruiting class so far for 2023, it will be important to retain Kentucky’s young and proven talent.

Goodbye Seniors

Another reason that Kentucky needs to retain its talent is because the amount of talent they are losing from this senior class. Just to name a few:

  • Will Levis
  • Chris Rodriguez Jr.
  • DeAndre Square
  • Jordan Wright
  • Tyrell Ajian

Unfortunately, the full list is much longer, but this group of seniors – with some dating back to 2018 – have helped contribute to some of the greatest seasons in Kentucky football history. In their last time at Kroger Field, they gave the Big Blue Nation another memory as they beat the Cardinals.

Let’s not forget about Chris Oats, who provided the loudest cheer and most emotional Senior Day moment, as he was honored after suffering a stroke back in May of 2020. He made sure to give an L’s down as well!

Game MVP

While there were some positives on offense including freshmen Barion Brown and Dane Key – who scored both of Kentucky’s touchdowns – the offense was too inconsistent today.


With that said, Matt Ruffolo was Mr. Consistent on Saturday night, as he went 4-4 on field goals and set a single-game career-high. Not to mention Ruffolo almost outscored the Cardinals by himself if you include his two PATs.

With the struggles that special teams has had this season, it is promising to see this performance to end the regular season.



REPORT: Liam Coen Leaving Kentucky for NFL Offensive Coordinator Position



UK Athletics

On the eve of a huge recruiting weekend for Kentucky football, the program has received some bad news. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen is leaving for the NFL again, this time taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator position.

When Coen returned to Kentucky last offseason from the Los Angeles Rams, for his second stint as offensive coordinator, he talked about Lexington being a place that he and his wife had missed. In his return press conference, on January 12, 2023, he went as far as saying he wanted to be somewhere for a “few years”, at least.

“I want to go somewhere, make a real impact. Plant some roots for a little bit. Be somewhere for a few years — at least — that you feel really good about. I’m excited about being back in Lexington… I’m not in a rush to go anywhere.”


That “few years” was just a year, but to be honest, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. After many games last season, Coen talked to the media with frustration about fundamental things such as lack of discipline and dropped passes. Even then, it always felt he was holding his words back. With his name circulating around multiple NFL jobs, it was clear this was the direction it was heading.

Now for Kentucky, it’s about getting the next hire right. In a time where offense is becoming the premium in college football, going through five offensive coordinators in ten seasons is not ideal. Paying $1.8 million to Coen, they have shown they will pay amongst the top in the country. Now, go get someone who keeps this core of offensive talent, can recruit, and brings much-needed consistency.

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A Piece of Will Levis’ Historic NFL Debut Displayed in NFL Hall of Fame



Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis after his NFL debut.
© Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

During last year’s NFL Draft, Will Levis was one of the last players left in the green room after dropping to the second round. That moment fueled Levis, and he’s since earned the starting quarterback spot with the Tennessee Titans, appearing to have a bright future with the team.

Entering the season with no shortage of motivation, Levis entered the franchise as QB3 and wasn’t even on the active roster for the first six weeks of the season, being deemed the “emergency quarterback.” However, following an ankle injury to Ryan Tannehill in Week 6, the Titans gave their rookie quarterback an opportunity.

Levis certainly capitalized and had one of the best debuts in NFL History, throwing for 238 yards (19/29 passing) and four touchdowns. From the game, Levis has been put in the Hall of Fame. Well, at least his Houston Oiler throwback helmet from the performance has been placed on display in the Hall of Fame’s “Pro Football Today Gallery.”


Levis started his career with a bang and had his moments. The former Kentucky Wildcat will look to build on his rookie campaign, going into a year where he should be the starter under new head coach Brian Callahan.

Also published on A Sea of Blue.

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FB Recruiting

Cutter Boley Opens up on Playing for Kentucky, “This Is Where My Heart’s Always Been”



Four-star quarterback prospect Cutter Boley signing with Kentucky football.
© Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the early National Signing Day for the class of 2024 being over, Kentucky’s newest signed quarterback Cutter Boley discusses why he committed to play at Kentucky.

“Just growing up in the state, you know, I’ve grown up a fan I feel like this is where my heart’s always been, and just the offense that Liam Coen runs and the job coach (Mark) Stoops does as head coach is phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else,” Boley tells Kentucky Insider.

Kentucky needed to get some quarterbacks after three players either graduated or transferred with Devin Leary graduating, Destin Wade transferring to Colorado, and Kaiya Sheron electing to transfer as well.


Kentucky was able to load up in the quarterback room by landing the Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff, Georgia Southern transfer Beau Allen, and then signing Boley in the class of 2024. Boley is ready to compete against them and he recognizes their talent.

“I couldn’t be any more excited to learn from them. They’re two really good quarterbacks, like I said, and they’ll have countless things to teach me from the places they’ve been and the offense that they’ve been in,” Boley tells us. “I just can’t wait to learn the things they know and just be able to work and get to work with them.”

One of the reasons why Boley committed to Kentucky is due to him having a connection since he has lived here his whole life.

“Just growing up in the state, you know, I’ve grown up a fan I feel like this is where my heart’s always been, and just the offense that Liam Coen runs and the job coach (Mark) Stoops does as head coach is phenomenal and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else,” said Boley.


As for finally signing his National Letter of Intent, Boley feels relieved to have it finished.

“It’s definitely a relief to finally put the pen to paper and make it official,” said Boley. “It’s been a long time coming so I couldn’t be any more excited about my decision and where I’m going to be for the next four years.”

What Boley is most focused on is how the offense is run, as at this time he feels like his play style is made to play professionally.

“I’m really hoping to develop into that pro-style quarterback, but I feel like I’m definitely a pro-style quarterback right now, but really develop into just being able to play in that offense at a very high level and get really comfortable in the offense, and I just want to develop all parts of my game and really be a quarterback that the NFL looks for and that type of quarterback they want to have,” Boley tells us.


With Kentucky having a chance to develop within instead of the transfer route, fans will have a chance to see a quarterback finally develop into potentially starting in the future.

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