Kentucky defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine suffers season-ending injury

On3 imageby:Nick Roush10/11/21

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Kentucky will be down a starter on defense when the Wildcats travel to Athens to take on top-ranked Georgia. Mark Stoops confirmed the injury Octavious Oxendine suffered against LSU will end his season.

Sources tell KSR Oxendine tore his meniscus. Even though it will keep him out for the rest of the season, the silver lining is that it is not an ACL or an MCL, which means Ox could be back for the spring season.

A four-star recruit in the class of 2020, the North Hardin product worked his way into a starting position as the Wildcats’ three-technique defensive tackle. A twitchy, big body inside, he recorded two sacks against the Tigers before he was taken down in the trenches. The SEC named him Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance.

Redshirt senior Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald and true freshman Kahlil Saunders are the next men up. There’s 100% certainty Georgia will run right at them between the hedges. Tre’vonn Rybka typically serves as Josh Paschal’s backup, but the slippery lineman may have to play on the other side of the line this Saturday.

“Guys are going to have to step up and they’re probably going to have to learn a couple different positions,” defensive coordinator Brad White said Saturday.

Stoops agrees. “We have to; we have to get better with some of the guys that are going to be forced into playing time,” he said. “We have to look at all aspects of the things we’re doing, what they do best, and try to have a by committee (approach), move guys around and look at different ways on third down.”

Other Injured Wildcats

Mark Stoops listed Josh Ali as “doubtful.” The hope is the UK wide receiver will return following the bye week. Marquan McCall will be out for another week too.

Two other defensive starters are “dinged up” but expected to play through bumps and bruises in Athens, DeAndre Square and Yusuf Corker. Offensively, Kentucky was down a tackle against LSU. Kenneth Horsey kicked out from guard to tackle when Dare Rosenthal and Darian Kinnard were briefly sidelined. Jeremy Flax was unavailable against LSU but Stoops says he will be ready to play against Georgia.

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