Chris Rodriguez has Kentucky rushing to meet Chattanooga
Chris Rodriguez Jr. has accumulated more rushing yards through two games than any running back in Kentucky history.
Rodriguez aims to post his third straight stellar outing when the Wildcats entertain FCS program Chattanooga on Saturday at Lexington, Ky.
The 5-11, 224-pound bruiser has 331 rushing yards for Kentucky (2-0) after gaining a career-high 206 in a 35-28 win over Missouri on Sept. 11.
Rodriguez scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) against the Tigers and is the 10th player in school history to reach 20 rushing scores.
“I wouldn’t say we played excellent but we wanted it more than they did,” Rodriguez told ESPN after the win.
The Wildcats are projected to have an easy time against the Mocs (1-1) but coach Mark Stoops doesn’t want to hear any such chatter.
“You would never hear me use the word ‘breather.’ That’s not in our vocabulary,” Stoops said at a press conference. “The only thing we’re interested in is pressing on and moving forward. Any great team, no matter what the competition level is, plays to the best of their ability, and that’s what we’re always trying to do.”
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis has passed for 546 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions, while wideout Wan’Dale Robinson has 10 receptions for 226 yards and two scores. Robinson is the first Wildcat to open the season with back-to-back 100-yard efforts since Craig Yeast in 1998.
Defensively, linebacker J.J. Weaver has 2.5 sacks for a program looking to record its 13th consecutive nonconference victory.
Chattanooga lost its opener 30-20 to Austin Peay before recovering for a 20-0 road win over North Alabama last Saturday.
The Mocs now step up in status but coach Rusty Wright maintains his team won’t be intimidated to play an SEC program.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you have to show up and play,” Wright said at a press conference. “Crazy things happen. One group’s focus might not be ready and the other is and by the time you look up, you are in the middle of a dogfight and sometimes it’s too late to recover.”
One player Chattanooga counts on is defensive lineman Devonnsha Maxwell, who matched a school record with 3.5 sacks against North Alabama.
“I wasn’t making very many plays at first and I just put my head down and defensively it came,” Maxwell said. “It just shows you have to be resilient.”
Ailym Ford rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries against North Alabama and leads the Mocs with 174 rushing yards.
–Field Level Media