Kentucky Defeats No. 10 Louisville 38-31 Behind RB Ray Davis’ 3 TDs


In the Governor’s Cup on Saturday, Kentucky defeated No. 10 Louisville 38–31 after Ray Davis broke loose for a game-winning, 37-yard touchdown run with 1:02 left and caught two more touchdown passes in the second half.

The Wildcats (7-5) had a wild second half as the Bluegrass State rivals combined for 42 points and ended with back-to-back touchdowns, culminating in Davis’ third score. With 2:33 left, Jack Plummer’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Ahmari Huggins-Bruce tied the score at 31, setting up the winner. After being struck by Ashton Gillotte, Jarvis Brownlee Jr. intercepted Devin Leary’s floating pass, creating an unlikely opportunity for Louisville.

Following Kentucky’s quick drive into Louisville territory with the kickoff, Davis found space on the left side and raced to score his 20th touchdown, shattering Benny Snell’s season record. In addition to gaining 51 yards from four passes, including two 20-yard touchdowns from Leary, Davis ran 14 times for 76 yards.

Additionally, Barion Brown brought Kentucky within 17-14 with a 100-yard return of a kickoff in the third quarter. It was a crucial play that inspired his team to eventually tie the game and take the lead.

“It was nice to see Ray run like Ray and get tough difficult yards, critical yards,” said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, whose team also trailed 24-14 before rallying to tie on Davis’ first TD and Alex Raynor’s 46-yard field goal. “For this team to pick itself up after falling down is a credit to this team.”

In the end, the Wildcats captured the Governor’s Cup for the fifth time in a row. With five losses in six games, Kentucky is limping into the bowl game; Louisville, led by first-year coach Jeff Brohm—a former standout quarterback for the Cardinals—is set to compete for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a potential New Year’s Six bowl game.

In the defeat, Plummer completed 24 of 33 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns for Louisville.

“This one hurts more than the others,” Brohm said. “We wanted to win this game. We put a lot of emphasis on it. I give Kentucky credit. They came in here and beat us. So, congrats to them. We didn’t do a good enough job, and yeah, it stinks.”

Louisville’s next matchup for the Atlantic Coast Conference title in Charlotte, North Carolina, is with No. 5 Florida State on Saturday. The Cardinals haven’t played in a championship game since they entered the league in 2014.

Kentucky will wait to see its eighth consecutive bowl destination—a school record in December.