ATLANTA – The Kentucky Wildcats finished last season 10-3, which was their second 10-win season in the last four years.
As they started the season 6-0, an October 16th road game against Georgia placed a lot on the line for their program. For the first time, the Wildcats played a football game that had national championship implications, and more importantly, a possible SEC championship.
The Wildcats would lose that game 30-13 and went on to lose their next two games against Mississippi State and Tennessee.
WIldcats quarterback Will Levis said those three games were a low point in his career and knew he needed to rebound after falling to 6-3.
“We were coming off of a huge high and going into a downward spiral,” Levis said. “We needed to make sure after each of those losses, our mindset didn’t change and we didn’t point fingers.”
In the loss to Georgia, Levis finished 32-42, 192 yards and two touchdowns. Against Mississippi State where the Wildcats lost 31-17 on the road, Levis finished 17-28, 150 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown.
Levis rebounded the next game against Tennessee finishing 31-49, 372 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Wildcats came up short, losing 45-42.
In those three losses, Levis knew improvement was needed and had to capitalize on opportunities.
“(In) all three games, I had certain parts of the game where I wasn’t playing to the level I could,” said Levis. “The biggest thing was just learning from those mistakes. Watching those games and talking through it with the coaches when I’m in this position next time to make a play. I’ll do it.”
WIldcats head coach Bob Stoops knew Levis was at a low point and needed guidance. He made sure Levis stayed the course and held himself accountable.
However, heading into this season, many NFL Draft prognosticators believe Levis has what it takes to be a first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, Stoops believes Levis took those three setbacks and used his disappointment to provide purpose and motivation heading into the 2022 season.
“He’s definitely a competitor,” Stoops said about Levis. “Any competitor does not like to lose. I asked, “Where (did) we fall short (and) how do we get these things addressed? We didn’t get emotional about it, we adjusted and moved forward.”