LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky football is off to its best start since 1950.
The Wildcats defeated LSU 42-21 at Kroger Field in Lexington on Saturday night to improve to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Kentucky rushed for 330 yards and extended its lead to 28 points early in the fourth quarter in its first win over LSU since 2007.
Wildcat quarterback Will Levis completed 14 of 17 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 75 yards and two scores. Christopher Rodriguez Jr. finished with 147 rushing yards and a touchdown.
"Really appreciate our coaches and our players," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "We just have had a good, quiet confidence about us from the preparation that we are doing, a lot of hard work preparing hard, guys are sacrificing and doing things that are necessary. Coaches are putting out great game plans and we've really had good, hard disciplined practices and felt like we were getting better and better and really feel like our guys are playing exceptionally hard and we are executing better. Offensively, looked really crisp, I thought, early and against a quality football team, but just overall, very proud of our whole group, the whole program, whole organization. Been a lot of fun. Same message as last week when I sat here: Enjoy it for a few hours and back to work tomorrow. We are excited about the opportunity that we have from us next week."
After linebacker DeAndre Square forced a fumble on the game's opening possession, Kentucky capitalized on the turnover. Levis tossed a 3-yard touchdown to Christopher Rodriguez Jr.
LSU responded with a drive to the Kentucky 31-yard-line, but a stop on fourth-and-1 returned the ball to Kentucky.
Levis threw his second touchdown, an 11-yard reception by Wan'Dale Robinson on the opening play of the second quarter to extend Kentucky's lead to 14-0.
After leading by two touchdowns at halftime, Kentucky scored on its opening drive of the second half. Levis scored from a yard out to cap the 75-yard drive.
"You could tell early on, just to me, his comfort level was there," Stoops said of Levis. "You know, he looked really poised, really confident and just going through his progression, making some really nice throws. Maybe the numbers aren't overwhelming you, but I thought he was very clean and what Liam (Coen) has been working with him, being calm in the pocket, and you could see that, carrying over and you could see his confidence stepping up. Then the way he plays it on the line, and he runs so physical, that just gives everybody a great boost, as well. He's a tough kid and just getting better and better."
A 30-yard carry from Tyrion Davis-Price helped lead an LSU touchdown drive midway through the third quarter.
Kentucky answered on its next possession, scoring on a 10-play, 75-yard drive to return its lead to three touchdowns.
Trailing 35-7 in the fourth quarter, LSU scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions to pull within 14 points with 5:29 left.
Kentucky recovered an LSU onside kick and later scored on an 18-yard run by Rodriguez to extended the lead to 42-21.
Kentucky travels to Athens to play second-ranked Georgia on Oct. 16.
"I just discussed it briefly (in the locker room)," Stoops said. "Enjoy it for a few hours and get some sleep tonight and they know, punch the clock, come back Monday morning. Players, we can't see them until Monday. So, they need to rest up, heal up, get some treatment and be ready to go to work."
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