Kentucky coach Mark Stoops watched another wide receiver grow and become a scoring threat aside from electrifying speedster Barion Brown.
With fifth-year senior Tayvion Robinson in tow, the Wildcats welcome Mid-American Conference foe Akron Saturday night in their final contest before opening Southeastern Conference play next week at Vanderbilt.
Brown continues to put a scare into kick return units and secondaries every time the ball comes his way. Robinson has been handed a bigger role as a reliable target for quarterback Devin Leary. Robinson is tied for the team lead with nine receptions and has a team-high 174 yards and two touchdown catches.
He had 150 all-purpose yards in Saturday’s 28-17 win over Eastern Kentucky — two fewer than Brown.
“We challenged him, he’s responded and he’s been more consistent,” Stoops said of Robinson, who played three seasons at Virginia Tech. “There is a great example of just maturity, just being an older guy, being coachable and playing within the offense.”
On Sunday, Kentucky (2-0) learned that offensive coordinator Liam Coen had a sudden medical episode. Cohen, however, announced on social media that he will be in attendance for Saturday’s game.
Against a Kentucky team that has trailed in both games, Akron (1-1) may have one intangible that could go a long way in pulling off an upset — coach Joe Moorhead.
In his second year with the Zips, Moorhead faced the Wildcats twice during his two-year tenure at Mississippi State, splitting games in 2018 and 2019.
Splitting also is what his MAC squad has done in a curious way — a loss at Temple then a home win over Morgan State, both by 24-21 scores.
In the final minute against the Bears on Saturday, Bryan McCoy picked up a fumble after linebacker CJ Nunnally stripped away the ball on a stretch running play. The 13-yard fumble return TD won the game.
“It kind of validates what we’ve been talking about since January,” Moorhead said. “When you to a point in the fourth quarter and looked up at the scoreboard and have a chance to win the game, you’ve got to find a way to finish.”
The teams’ only matchup resulted in a 47-10 rout by Kentucky at home on Sept. 18, 2010.
–Field Level Media