SEPT. 16, 2023

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 35, Akron 3




SEPT. 16, 2023

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 35, Akron 3

Team Records and Series Information

• Kentucky is 3-0 on the season and Akron is 1-2. 

o Kentucky leads the all-time series 2-0.  

• Next up, UK begins Southeastern Conference action with the first road trip of the season, Saturday, Sept. 23 at Vanderbilt. 

o The game time is noon ET (11 a.m. CT in Nashville) and it will be televised on the SEC Network. 

Team Notes

• Kentucky opened the season 3-0 for the third season in a row.  

o It is the first time UK has done that in 112 years, and only the third time in school history, also 1909-11 and 1902-04.

• The Wildcats have won their last 19 regular-season nonconference games, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind Georgia.

o UK has won 17 straight nonconference games at Kroger Field. 

o UK has won its 23rd nonconference game in its last 24 nonconference games (includes bowl games).

• UK scored 35 points, the second time in the last three seasons (also 2021) that UK has scored at least 28 points in the first three games of the season.

• Kentucky has scored at least 26 points in each of the first three games of the season in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-2000.

• UK won its first three games of the season by at least 11 points for the first time since 2018.

• UK has won each of the first three games of the season by at least 10 points in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1929-30. 

• Kentucky allowed only three points, the first time the Wildcats have kept the opponent from scoring a touchdown since the 31-0 shutout of Youngstown State last season.

• This is the second season in a row that UK has held its first three opponents to 17 points or fewer.  It’s the first time UK has done that since 1949-50.

• Under defensive coordinator Brad White, the UK defense has held its opponents to 24 points or fewer in 19 of the last 20 games. 

• UK limited Akron to 49 rushing yards. 

o It is the first time since 2017 that UK has held the first three opponents under 100 rushing yards. 

o The Wildcats have held their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in their last four games.

o The last time the Wildcats held a team to as few yards was against Mississippi State on Oct. 15, 2022 (22 yards rushing). 

• UK has forced at least one turnover in eight straight home games and 16 of the last 17 home games.

• Friday, Sept. 15 was the 50th anniversary of the first game at Kroger Field, then known as Commonwealth Stadium.UK had five honorary captains tonight, one from each decade.

o Ray Barga (pronounced “bar-jee”), 1973 captain who scored the first touchdown of the new stadium, a 13-yard reception from quarterback Ernie Lewis

o Oliver White, 1984 captain

o Tim Couch, 1998 captain

o Dougie Allen, 2001 captain

o Jojo Kemp, 2016 captain

Coach Mark Stoops

• Mark Stoops is in his 11th season as Kentucky’s head coach, extending his school record for the most seasons as the UK head coach. 

• UK is 3-0 for the fifth time in the last seven seasons under head coach Mark Stoops, joining 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022.

• Stoops extended his school records for most total victories (69) and home victories (49). 

• After two games of the 2016 season, Stoops’ record was 12-26, but he has gone 57-33 (.633) since. 

Player Notes

• Quarterback Devin Leary completed 16 of his 26 pass attempts for 315 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

o It marked the ninth game of his career that he has thrown for at least 300 yards.

o He is the first UK quarterback with at least three touchdown passes in consecutive games since Mike Hartline vs. South Carolina and Georgia in 2010.

o He is the 15th QB in school history to throw for at least 300 yards in a game.

• Running back Ray Davis led Kentucky in yards rushing (72) and yards receiving (97).

o He had seven carries for 72 yards rushing, including a career-long, 55-yard run for a touchdown on UK’s first possession of the fourth quarter. 

o He also had three receptions for a career-best 97 yards receiving, including a career-long, 58-yard receptionfor a touchdown late in the third quarter. 

o His performance against Akron marked the fifth game of his career that he has had both a touchdown rushing and a touchdown receiving in the same game. 

o He is the first Wildcat with two touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the same game since Garrett Johnson at Louisville in 2016.

• Running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye had four carries for 58 yards and one touchdown.

o On his third rush of the game, he had a career-best, 42-yard rush for a first down, which eventually set up his four-yard jaunt into the endzone for a score.

• Running back Ramon Jefferson had two rushes for 12 yards.

o He now needs just 11 more yards to eclipse 3,000 career yards.

• Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson led Kentucky with five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.

o He has recorded touchdowns in two straight games, marking just the second instance in his college career he has scored in back-to-back games.

• Tight end Josh Kattus had the first score of his careerthanks to a six-yard touchdown reception on Kentucky’s first drive of the game.

o It also marked his first catch of the season.

o He combined for career-high-tying two catches for 24 yards and the lone touchdown in the game.

• Tight end Jordan Dingle had a career-high-tying four receptions for a career-high 89 yards, including a career-long, 59-yard reception in the second quarter.

• Wide receiver Barion Brown improved his streak of 16 straight games with a reception, making two receptions for 19 yards.

• Defensive back Maxwell Hairston led Kentucky with seven total tackles and five solo tackles.

o He had one tackle for loss (2 yards).

• Inside linebackers Trevin Wallace and Martez Throwerhad five tackles apiece.

o Wallace added a career-best two sacks (6 yards).

o Thrower’s five tackles were a career best. 

• Defensive back Jantzen Dunn made the first tackle of his college career against Akron, combining for four total tackles, including three solo tackles.

• Kicker Chance Poore was 3-of-6 on kickoff touchbacks and is now 16 of 19 for the season.

• Game captainsDevin Leary, Trevin Wallace, Deone Walker, Zion Childress