Kentucky’s Will Levis tossed two touchdown passes, Chris Rodriguez Jr. set a record for 100-yard games, and the Wildcats beat No. 25 Louisville 26-13 for the fourth straight time in the state rivalry on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
Levis was 11-for-19 for 188 yards with touchdown passes to Dane Key and Barion Brown. Rodriguez notched his program-best 20th 100-yard game by rushing 24 times for 120 yards, breaking the mark of 19 held by Benny Snell Jr. (2016-18).
Matt Ruffolo kicked four field goals as the Wildcats (7-5) moved to 19-15 overall in the series and evened their home record at 10-10 against Louisville (7-5).
Cardinals quarterback Brock Domann started but struggled, going 14-for-21 for 129 yards with a TD and interception. Malik Cunningham replaced him and went 3-for-6 for 16 yards and one interception overall, but Domann returned in the second half for the game’s remainder.
Cunningham ran for the squad’s first score, giving him 50 career TDs on the ground and eclipsing the record-setting career tally of former Louisville star Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.
Jawhar Jordan rushed for a game-high 145 yards on 22 carries, and Tyler Hudson caught a TD pass.
In the first quarter, Levis, a senior, produced the game’s first score when he hit Key on an 8-yard strike to end a five-play, 86-yard drive.
The Cardinals’ ensuing series was successful until the Wildcats stuffed Jordan on fourth-and-1. The home side capitalized by going 62 yards, culminating with Ruffolo’s 43-yard boot.
Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver sacked Domann, forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 14 yards to the Louisville 6-yard line. Ruffolo then tacked on another field goal, from 29 yards, for a 13-0 advantage.
After failing to score on its first three drives, Louisville replaced Domann with Cunningham. The senior perked up the offense and sent it on its first scoring drive late in the second quarter. His scramble for 6 yards gave him the milestone mark and left the Cardinals down 13-7 at halftime.
Following Ruffolo’s third boot, a 35-yarder, Trevin Wallace intercepted Cunningham to set up Levis’ 3-yard lob to Brown for a 23-7 lead at 6:35.
In the fourth quarter, Ruffolo made it 4-for-4 with a 40-yarder, but Domann found Hudson from 27 yards with 7:03 left.
–Field Level Media