Kentucky’s stars excel as Cats roll past New Mexico State, 56-16


Kentucky quarterback Beau Allen (11) celebrates after rushing for a three-yard touchdown during the Kentucky vs. New Mexico State football game on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 56-16. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Hunter Shelton

Kentucky improved to 8-3 following a 56-16 drubbing of New Mexico State. 

The win makes two in a row for UK, following a three-game losing streak in SEC play. 

Despite four turnovers from UK, the Cats rolled past NMSU in Kroger Field.  

Will Levis lit up the Aggies, completing 21 of his 31 pass attempts for 419 yards and four touchdowns. Levis is the first Wildcat QB to throw for over 400 yards in a game since Andre Woodson in 2007.  

Chris Rodriguez once again eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark, finishing with 119 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. The performance is the seventh time Rodriguez has hit triple digits in rushing yards this season.  

Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali torched the NMSU secondary, combining for 345 yards on 15 catches. Robinson caught eight of 10 targets for 181 yards, while Ali hauled in two touchdowns on seven catches for 164 yards.  

Kentucky got off to a sluggish start, as on their first drive, center Luke Fortner snapped the football over the head of Levis, resulting in the Aggies’ Trevor Brohard recovering the ball, taking it to the endzone for a touchdown, giving NMSU an early 7-0 lead.  

The Wildcats would respond in their following drive, needing just five plays to go 81 yards, finishing with Levis hitting tight end Justin Rigg for a 32-yard touchdown.  

New Mexico State’s third drive was halted quickly, as Quandre Mosely jumped NMSU QB Jonah Johnson’s pass for a 38-yard pick-six, giving the Wildcats the lead. 

UK would punch in their third touchdown of the first quarter on their next drive, as Rodriguez claimed his lone score of the night with a six-yard rush.  

The Aggies would get a field goal back at the end of the first quarter, the first of three that kicker Ethan Albertson would make on Saturday.  

Kentucky would put the pedal to the metal in the second quarter, as Ali scored the first of his two TD’s racing in a nine-yard pass from Levis.  

NMSU would again answer with a field goal from Albertson, cutting UK’s lead to 15.  

The Wildcats next drive saw another fumble, this time from Rodriguez at the NMSU two-yard line. 

UK’s defense would hold, allowing the offense to score one more touchdown before the break, Levis would hit Rigg for the TE’s second score of the day on a rollout pass at the goal line 

Albertson would knock one more field goal through the uprights as time expired in the half to give Kentucky a 35-16 lead.  

Ali got the second half started with a bang, taking home a 62-yard pass from Levis to the house.  

Levis would get intercepted midway through the third quarter at the goal line, but NMSU was unable to capitalize on the opportunity.  

Kavosiey Smoke would took one of his three carries 23 yards to the endzone at the end of the third quarter, helping the Cats pull away from the Aggies.  

Backup quarterback Beau Allen would take a three-yard keeper to the endzone for the lone score in the fourth quarter, as Kentucky rolled to a 56-16 victory against New Mexico State, keeping UK’s non-conference undefeated record alive.  

Waiting for UK in the regular season finale is rival Louisville. The Cats and the Cards will battle for the Governor’s Cup in Cardinal Stadium in Louisville this Saturday, Nov. 27Time of kick is yet to be announced.