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Three Plays: Young Kentucky players make big impact

Adam Luckett11/26/22

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Article written by:On3 imageAdam Luckett

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Josh Kattus
(Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio)

As the 2022 football season developed for Kentucky, the young talent in the program continued to shine weekly. In the 26-13 Governor’s Cup victory over Louisville, three underclassmen made the plays that set up both touchdowns and the interception that clinched the win.

Kentucky was able to overwhelm an old Louisville team, and quite often, the Cats had some young players showing up in big spots. In the final edition of KSR’s Three Plays for the 2022 regular season, we’re diving into how Josh Kattus, Trevin Wallace, and Jordan Lovett helped tilt the game toward the Big Blue.

Game’s biggest play comes from Josh Kattus

After both defenses traded stops to begin the game, Kentucky faced a second-and-seven on their own 28 to start their second possession. Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello goes to a 12 personnel look and hits Louisville with an RPO action.

In-line tight end Josh Kattus gets behind the linebackers and then makes a safety miss in space. The true freshman tight end out of Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller was responsible for the biggest play of the game as he rumbles down the home sideline at Kroger Field.

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The young player has built a very strong reputation early in his career as a willing and effective blocker, but in November, we’ve seen Kattus also has value as a receiver. The rookie makes a big play to create the first red zone possession of the game. Kentucky would cash in with a touchdown three plays later.

The Cats would claim a 7-0 lead with 7:46 remaining in the first quarter that would never be lost.

Trevin Wallace creates another red zone opportunity

To end the half, Louisville’s offense put together its best drive of the game marching 64 yards in 12 plays to score a key Middle 8 touchdown with 0:37 remaining in the second quarter. Getting the ball back after the half down 13-7, Scott Satterfield’s team appeared to have some real momentum.

That was very short-lived.

Kentucky’s defense forced a three-and-out in the first possession of the second half and Matt Ruffolo would tack on another field goal to extend the lead to 16-7 lead with 8:43 left in the third quarter. Kentucky’s defense would then respond with a big-time haymaker.

In the next series, Malik Cunningham tries to force a ball through a small window in zone coverage. Trevin Wallace is right there to log the second interception of his sophomore season.

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Three plays later, Will Levis connects with Barion Brown on a fade pass from three yards out to extend the lead to 23-7 with 6:35 left in the third quarter. After losing momentum to end the first half, Kentucky quickly turned the tide in the second half with two big defensive stops followed by complementary football from the offense.

Before you knew it, the quick third quarter avalanche put Louisville in a deep hole that was going to be very difficult to overcome.

Jordan Lovett ices the game

After Louisville scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 26-13 with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter, Kentucky’s offense was able to churn out two first downs and force Scott Satterfield to burn all three of his timeouts. A strong punt by Wilson Berry then pinned Louisville inside their own five.

Brock Domann would connect on four passes for 44 yards to move the ball out to midfield with under two minutes remaining. But a forced throw would end the game.

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Zion Childress does a great job playing centerfield at safety, and the Texas State transfer creates a pass breakup. Jordan Lovett then reels in the second interception of his redshirt freshman season to finish the game.

We’re entering a critical offseason for Kentucky football and the fun will officially begin when the transfer portal opens up on Dec. 5. The Cats will need to be active shoppers in the free agency market as the program will be looking for the next starter at quarterback as well as help at other positions. However, some cornerstone pieces are already in place.

Kentucky has a ton of young talent in the program and that was on full display in the win over Louisville. The 2022 season was a disappointment, but the Cats have real building blocks moving forward on both offense and defense.

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2023-01-29