DALLAS (FWAA) – The Kentucky Wildcats upset No. 9 Louisville, 38-31, as running back Ray Davis set school records for touchdowns and points scored and quarterback Devin Leary added three touchdown passes. For topping their in-state rivals for a fifth consecutive season and keeping the Governor’s Cup, Kentucky earned the Cheez-It National Team of the Week for games the weekend of Nov. 25, as selected by the All-America Committee of the Football Writers Association of America. This is the final selection for the 2023 season.
The win marked Kentucky’s 20th straight against regular-season non-conference opponents, the second-longest streak in the country (Georgia, 24).
Davis carried the ball 14 times for 76 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 37-yard run with 1:31 left. He also had 51 yards and two touchdowns receiving. The three touchdowns gave Davis 20 on the season, setting a new program record while also breaking the school record for points scored with 120. Davis became the only active player – and believed to be the only player in history per the Kentucky staff – to total at least 1,000 career rushing yards at three Division I schools (also Temple and Vanderbilt). He is the first player in SEC history to have 1,000-yard seasons at two league schools, also running for 1,042 last season for Vanderbilt.
Leary threw for 206 yards and three scores and Kentucky also got a 100-yard kickoff return from Barion Brown in the victory. Defensively, Kentucky got 11 tackles from linebackers D’Eryk Jackson and Trevin Wallace.
“I’m really proud of how this team finished the season,” Stoops said. “I think we’re the only team in the country that has played four straight teams ranked in the top 10. That’s a tough schedule. This team found a way to pick themselves back up after last week and finish strong in a game that’s important for us. We’ve played a grueling schedule. We found a way to win in a game that started slow.”
The win was Kentucky’s fifth straight in the Louisville series, tying for the longest streak in the Governor’s Cup era.
Since 2002, the FWAA has named a National Team of the Week. Coming into the 2023 season, 284 teams have been honored, including 101 different Division I programs. Each honored team will receive a custom Cheez-It "care package" along with a hand-crafted game ball made in America by Dallas-based Big Game USA, the nation's leading manufacturer of custom footballs.
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 25 were:
- Alabama (11-1): Facing fourth down-and-31, quarterback Jalen Milroe hit Isaiah Bond with a 31-yard score with 32 seconds left to lift the No. 8 Crimson Tide to a 27-24 win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Alabama piled up 451 yards of total offense, including 259 through the air. Milroe threw for 259 yards and had 107 yards on the ground.
- Cal (6-6): The Golden Bears became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2019 with a satisfying 33-7 win over UCLA at the Rose Bowl to close their regular season. Cal forced four turnovers and shut out the Bruins in the second half. Wide receiver Jeremiah Hunter caught eight passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Two linebackers had standout games with Cade Uluave recording 12 tackles, a sack and an interception while David Reese had three sacks. Kicker Mateen Bhaghani connected on a career-best four field goals.
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ABOUT FLORIDA CITRUS SPORTS
Florida Citrus Sports is a not-for-profit event management organization dedicated to positively impacting the Orlando region while enhancing the quality of life in Central Florida through world-class events, including the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl, the Pop-Tarts Bowl, the Florida Blue Florida Classic, the Camping World Kickoff and the FC Series. For more information, visit FloridaCitrusSports.com.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,100 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2023 FWAA All-America Committee
Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman (Chair)
Travis L. Brown, Bryan-College Station Eagle
Ken Capps, Freelance
Angelique Chengelis, Detroit News
Brett Ciancia, Pick Six Previews
Scott Dochterman, The Athletic
Scott Farrell, collegepressbox
Bryan Fischer, FOX Sports
John Hoover, All Sooners
Mike Huguenin, Freelance
Shehan Jeyarajah, CBS Sports
Nate Mink, Syracuse Post-Standard
Ben Portnoy, The State
Tony Siracusa, Last Word on College Football
Phil Steele, Phil Steele Publications
Dusty Thibodeaux, WarhawkReport.com
Ryan Thorburn, Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune
John Wagner, County News Review (Minn.)
Jon Wilner, Bay Area News Group