After Kentucky built up a four-score lead against UT Martin, Mark Stoops took his foot off the gas. It gave many of the young Wildcats a chance to play significant snaps for the first time. Here’s who made the most of their opportunity.
Jamin Davis — Starting in his first game as a Wildcat for the suspended Chris Oats (violation of team rules), the redshirt sophomore rose to the occasion. Davis recorded a team-high six tackles and picked off a pass in the end zone, a play that kept the shut out alive until late into the third quarter.
Marquan “Bully” McCall — Bully has played regularly at nose guard all season. Tonight he showed the BBN why they call him Bully. He recorded a quarterback hurry, four tackles and two for loss. The last TFL was just stupid. He blew the center so far backwards, the offensive lineman fell over the running back. McCall is a monster.
KD McDaniel — With J.J. Weaver on the sideline to preserve his redshirt, McDaniel did not miss a beat. The true freshman outside linebacker was constantly in the quarterback’s face. He was only credited with two quarterback hurries, but it felt like he was in the area after every pass was thrown. McDaniel also had a pair of tackles.
Travis Tisdale — In his second game as a Wildcat the running back had four touches. One was a touchdown and the other was an explosive 53-yard run that set up the score.
Tyler Markray — A preferred walk-on from Michigan, the redshirt freshman running back outdid Tisdale on the following drive by scampering 45 yards down the sideline for his first career touchdown.
Tra Wilkins — An early enrollee in 2019, the linebacker depth put Wilkins into the action earlier than most. He did not let down his coaches, recording three tackles.
M.J. Devonshire — The National Signing Day addition was on track to burn through his redshirt season if not for a wrist injury early in the season. Receiving his most extensive playing time to date, Devonshire logged three tackles in the second half.
“Big” Nik Ognenovic — Wearing C.J. Conrad’s old No. 87, the enormous tight end from South Florida caught his first career pass, gaining eight yards on the strike from Walker Wood.
Defensive Linemen — Isaiah Gibson, Cavon Butler and Qua Mahone were only credited with a pair of tackles, but they held their own in the trenches. Gibson and Butler each had a couple of nice pass rushes and all three were quick to recognize and recover when the Skyhawks decided to almost exclusively run screen passes in the game’s final drives.