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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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At the whistle: Kentucky football stuns No. 10 Louisville 38-31

Samuel Colmar
Kentucky running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye (0) celebrates during the Kentucky vs. Louisville football game on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Kentucky football (7-5) ended its regular season with a 38-31 win away at Cardinal Stadium against No. 10 Louisville (10-2) on Saturday, eliminating the Cardinals from the College Football Playoff race.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Wildcats and saw head coach Mark Stoops  rebound after losing five of his last six games in the season.

Looking to get things underway in a noon kickoff, the Wildcats got the ball first.

The Cats come up empty on their opening drive, but the Cardinals refused to make the same mistake.

Kentucky refused to back down though, forcing the Cardinals to punt on their next possession before a hurdle from Khamari Anderson sparked momentum on offense and resulted in the first Kentucky touchdown of the game.

While Louisville retook the lead on its next possession, the defense, with help from a costly penalty, was able to ensure that it was only three points as the Cards settled for a field goal.

Both teams fell cold on the offensive side of the ball, with the score remaining 10-7 at the halftime break when Devin Leary opted to take a knee to enter halftime behind by three.

The decision would come back to bite the Cats when, on their opening drive in the second half, the Cardinals extended the lead to two scores.

Luckily for the Cats, Barion Brown refused to let the 10-point deficit stand for long, rushing 100 yards on the kickoff return to find the endzone. The scoring rush marked his second kickoff return touchdown of the season and third of his career.

Unfortunately for the Cats, the lead quickly became 10 once again on the very next drive.

Against all odds, Kentucky responded again, this time with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Leary to running back Ray Davis.

The Cats would then have another stroke of luck when Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan fumbled the football on the next drive, giving the Cats a chance to take the lead for the first time in the game.

While the Cats couldn’t take they lead, they did tie the game.

Then, with momentum on their side, the Cats stunned the home fans.

Unfortunately for the Cats, on their very next drive Leary threw an interception that the Cardinals returned to the UK 25-yard line. There was little shock at what came next.

Kentucky refused to be demoralized by the score though, with Davis finding the endzone for a second time, this time with a 37-yard rush, to give the Cats the lead once more.

Louisville had just over a minute with three timeouts to tie the game, but the Wildcat defense locked in and secured the fifth consecutive Governor’s Cup victory for Kentucky with an interception in the endzone.

With the win Kentucky concluded its regular season 7-5 for the second season in a row. The Wildcats will have a bowl game before transitioning into the offseason.

-Inquiry? Reach out at [email protected]

-Sports editor Cole Parke can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @ColeParke_wsc

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About the Contributors
Cole Parke, Sports Editor
Samuel Colmar, Assistant Photo Editor

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