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Ole Miss Football Week Five Opponent Preview: Kentucky Wildcats Offense

Our college football preview series continues this week with the Rebels' week five matchup.
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After enjoying what should be an easy start to the 2022 college football season, the Ole Miss Rebels welcome their first SEC opponent of the season to Oxford, Miss., in week five: the Kentucky Wildcats.

In 2021, the Wildcats won 10 games for the first time since 2018 under coach Mark Stoops. Stoops is the longest-tenured coach in the SEC behind Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. Under Stoops, Kentucky is preparing to put the rest of the SEC on notice in 2022 and prove that 2021 was not a fluke. It helps that the Wildcats have a quarterback already getting first-round hype for the 2023 NFL Draft, Will Levis. Kentucky started the 2021 season hot, rolling to a 6-0 start, and later made it to the Citrus Bowl versus the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

On Monday, we did an overview of the Kentucky football program, now we will dive deeper into the Wildcats' offense. Here is a look at Kentucky's offensive playmakers for the 2022 college football season.

Offensive Players to Watch

Passing: Will Levis

After spending three seasons with the Penn State Nittany Lions as a backup, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis got his shot to start in the SEC and he led his team to a 10-3 record. In 2021, Levis threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. As mentioned above, Levis could be one of the top quarterbacks selected in the 2023 NFL Draft if he can cut down on interceptions and improve his decision-making.

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Rushing: Chris Rodriguez Jr.

Rodriguez Jr. had a career season with the Wildcats in 2021, recording career-highs in carries (225), rushing yards (1,379), and touchdowns (nine). The senior out of McDonough, Ga., is the top returning rusher in the SEC and could become the Wildcats' career rushing leader in the fall if he amasses 1,134 rushing yards.

Receiving: Tayvion Robinson

Kentucky is set at quarterback and running back, but their receiving core is weaker going into 2022. Former Wildcat leading receiver Wan'Dale Robinson was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, and the only returning receiver on the Wildcat roster who has caught a touchdown pass is receiver Demarcus Harris. 

The Wildcats did get receiver help via the NCAA Transfer portal, however, in former Virginia Tech Hokies receiver Tayvion Robinson. In three seasons with the Hokies, Robinson hauled in 113 receptions, 1,555 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. Robinson will be the number one receiver for Levis this fall.


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