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Kentucky 'zips' past Akron: 35-3 in Kroger Field

Kentucky celebrates 50 years in Kroger Field with 3-0 start to the season
Ray Davis
Posted at 10:39 PM, Sep 16, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (BBN TONIGHT) — On the 50th celebration of football being played in Kroger Field, the Kentucky Wildcats celebrated with a 35-3 win over Akron University. Quarterback Devin Leary went for 16/26 for 315 yards, while senior Ray Davis led in all-purpose yards with 169 total. Davis ran for 72 yards in seven attempts, while receiving 97 yards in 3 catches. Kicker Alex Raynor had a perfect game, going 5/5.

In the opening play of the game, Leary hit Davis on a screen, and Davis collected 39 yards to make his way into Zips territory. At the end of seven plays, 79 yards, and 4:56 off the clock, Leary finds tight end Josh Kattus for a 6-yard touchdown. The first collegiate touchdown of Kattus' career.

The defense started the game well. Akron muffed the ball allowing Zion Childress the opportunity to recover the punt. The Cats took over at the 36 but were unable to convert the play. The first quarter ended with Kentucky up, 7-0.

Kentucky's second quarter was less than ideal. The Cats fumbled the ball twice, but the Zips did not capitalize on those mistakes. As the clock winded down in the second half, Leary found wide receiver Tayvion Robinson deep for 28 yards to set Kentucky up in the Akron 17. Four plays later, Leary finds Robinson again for a 22-yard touchdown with 0:08 seconds left.

At the half, Leary was 12/16 for 208 yards. Jordan Dingle led in receiving with 89 yards in four catches. JuTahn McClain led the run game with 23 yards in three attempts.

Kentucky started the third quarter struggling a bit offensively, while the Zips found some steam on offense. That steam did not last long before linebacker Trevin Wallace made a huge stop that forced the Zips to make a 36-yard field goal.

Kentucky's offense continued to find a way! What at first was a dicey situation for Leary turned into a 58-yard touchdown for Davis. The senior running back caught the ball at Kentucky's 38 and ran it all the way back to the end zone. Pushing UK's lead to 21-3. That play marked Davis' best in yards, his previous was 51.

Davis decided to go for another stroll down the field, this time for a 55-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter. Transfer running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye scored the last touchdown of the night with a 4-yard rush.

Kentucky's defense totaled 68 tackles. Maxwell Hairston led the way with seven total. Kentucky completed 5/8 third down conversions and all three red zone attempts.

In part of celebrating 50 years in Kroger Field, Kentucky football brought out captains representing each decade.
1970s: Ray Barga
1980s: Oliver White
1990s: Tim Couch
2000s: Dougie Allen
2010s: Jojo Kemp

UP NEXT: Kentucky travels to Vanderbilt for their first taste of SEC play. Kickoff is set for Noon ET and will be broadcast on SEC Network.

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