Postgame notes and stats from Kentucky's win over Akron

Jack Pilgrim09/17/23


Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
Photo by Dr. Micheal Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

Three games, three wins for the Kentucky Wildcats to open the regular season ahead of SEC play. Plenty to love and hate about all three victories, but a perfect record to show for it nonetheless.

What about Kentucky’s 35-3 win over Akron in week three? The defense imposed its will while the offense slowly but surely came along, highlighted by 315 yards and three scores from Devin Leary and 169 all-purpose yards and two scores from Ray Davis.

How did it all unfold? The postgame stats and notes tell part of the story from Kroger Field. Take a look, courtesy of UK Athletics.

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 3-0 on the season and Akron is 1-2.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 19regular-season nonconference games, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind Georgia.
  • UK has won 17 straight nonconference games at Kroger Field.
  • 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.
  • It is the first time since 2017 that UK has held the first three opponents under 100 rushing yards.
  • The Wildcats have held their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing in their last four games.
  • 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.
  • Ray Barga (pronounced “bar-jee”), 1973 captain who scored the first touchdown of the new stadium, a 13-yard reception from quarterback Ernie Lewis
  • Oliver White, 1984 captain
  • Tim Couch, 1998 captain
  • Dougie Allen, 2001 captain
  • 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.
  • It marked the ninth game of his career that he has thrown for at least 300 yards.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • He also had three receptions for a career-best 97 yards receiving, including a career-long, 58-yard reception for a touchdown late in the third quarter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 career thanks to a six-yard touchdown reception on Kentucky’s first drive of the game.
  • It also marked his first catch of the season.
  • 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.
  • He had one tackle for loss (2 yards).
  • Inside linebackers Trevin Wallace and Martez Thrower had five tackles apiece.
  • Wallace added a career-best two sacks (6 yards).
  • 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 captains: Devin Leary, Trevin Wallace, Deone Walker, Zion Childress

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