The Kentucky Wildcats are now 3-0. With Kentucky leading 21-16 and just under eight minutes remaining in the game, Chattanooga quarterback Cole Copeland threw a deep ball to the endzone, but it was intercepted by defensive back Tyrell Ajian. Ajian then ran the interception all the way back for a 95-yard touchdown.
Ajian’s pick six served as the game winning score for Kentucky.
Early in the fourth quarter, Chattanooga took a 16-14 lead on Kentucky. Quarterback Will Levis then led a seven play, 77-yard touchdown drive to put Kentucky in the lead, 21-16. Ajian’s pick six then put Kentucky up 28-16. Copeland led Chattanooga on a long 14 play, 75-yard drive in the final minutes of the game. The drive ended in a touchdown and cut Kentucky’s lead to 28-23, but the drive took more than six minutes off the clock.
Ajian is currently in his fifth season at Kentucky
After redshirting as a freshman in 2017, Ajian mostly saw action in a reserve role during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. As a redshirt freshman in 2018, he had 10 tackles, three pass breakups and an interception. In 2019, he started two games at safety, and totaled 17 tackles, one interception and one pass breakup.
Last season, Ajian got his first opportunity to be a full time starting safety for Kentucky. He started 10 of the 11 games he appeared in. On the season, Ajian had 48 tackles, an interception, one forced fumble, one pass breakup, and a blocked kick. Saturday’s interception over Chattanooga was the fourth interception of Ajian’s career and the first of his 2021 season.
Ajian played defensive back, wide receiver, and quarterback in high school. He was rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports and ESPN. ESPN rated Ajian as the No. 8 safety prospect in the country while he was one of the best players out of the state of Ohio. Ajian chose Kentucky over Michigan, Michigan State, and West Virginia.