LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — This game will forever be known as the "Will Levis Game".
The Penn State transfer quarterback introduced himself into the Commonwealth's ultimate rivalry with one of the best individual performances Big Blue Nation has ever seen.
Levis recorded a career-high 113 rushing yards - 262 yards of offense alone - and a career-high four rushing touchdowns as Kentucky steamrolled Louisville, 52-21 Saturday.
It's the third straight Governor's Cup victory for UK against their archrival. With the victory, the Wildcats win their ninth game of the season, just the second time that's happened in the regular season since 1977.
"It feels really good to put it all together," Mark Stoops said in his opening statement after the game. "We've had moments this year where we really shined on offense, defense, and special teams. To put it all together on a big night for the Governor's Cup, against a rival to end the season feels really good."
Just a week after setting the school's second-most total yardage in a game, Kentucky couldn't wait to show Louisville what their new-look offense was all about.
Wildcats got things started with a 29-yard pass from Will Levis to Wan'Dale Robinson to get into Cardinal territory. Not long after, Levis runs into the endzone on a 27-yard quarterback draw to give UK a 7-0 lead early.
Louisville QB Malik Cunningham tied the game up with a 2-yard leap into the endzone, but Levis showed the Cardinals Saturday that Cunningham wasn't the only running QB on the field.
Levis found paydirt again on a 7-yard run for his second rushing touchdown to put the lead back in UK's favor, 14-7. A 43-yard Matt Ruffolo field goal increased UK's lead to 17-7 with 8:40 left in the first half.
Levis scored his third rushing touchdown with 1:53 left in the second quarter, a five-yard scamper, and celebrated with the "L's Down" hand gesture. Kentucky led 24-7 at halftime, dominating time of possession nearly 21 minutes to Louisville's nine minutes.
Wildcats scored on their first four possessions in the first half and first three drives of the second, taking a 45-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
Levis had a highlight reel moment at the start of the final quarter when he shook a defender and hurdled another on a 22-yard run that ultimately led to UK's sixth touchdown.
"The rivalry itself is enough motivation for all of us and we always prepare like any other opponent the same way," Levis said who also threw 14 of 18 passes for 149 yards Saturday. "But the extra motivation and energy that was brought to practice this week definitely carried over into the game tonight."
Levis' four-rushing touchdowns tied the school record and also tied the Governor's Cup record set by Lynn Bowden Jr. in 2019. Wan'dale Robinson - who caught nine passes for 97 yards against the Cardinals - broke the school's single-season record for receptions. Robinson passed James Whalen's record of 90 set in 1999 and currently has 94 catches and counting.
Kentucky ends the 2021 regular season at 9-3 overall and will now wait to see where they will be playing in a bowl game, which should be announced on December 5th.