Will Levis named The Manning Award Quarterback of the Week

Junior quarterback is the only player in the country to win the award twice this season

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics)   Will Levis is The Manning Award Quarterback of the Week for his performance in Kentucky’s resounding 52-21 victory at Louisville last Saturday. He is the only quarterback in the nation to win the award twice during the 2021 season.

Levis totaled a school-record tying four rushing touchdowns in the win over the Cardinals, continuing his emergence as one top signal callers in the country. He also won the weekly award after completing 18 of 26 passes for 367 yards and four touchdowns in UK’s 45-10 win over ULM in the season opener, bookending his tremendous season.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting. Since the Manning Award started recognizing Stars of the Week in 2011, 464 different quarterbacks from 129 schools have been recognized. Sixty-six different quarterbacks have been honored during the 2021 season.

Levis, a 6-foot-3, 232-pound quarterback from Madison, Connecticut, completed 14 of 18 passes for 149 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions against Louisville. He also rushed 14 times for a career-high 113 yards and a career-best four touchdowns. His four touchdowns tied the single-game school records for most rushing TDs and most total TDs. His four TDs also tied the Governor’s Cup record set by Lynn Bowden Jr. in 2019.  The signal caller guided UK to seven scores on its first eight possessions, with the only time not scoring being the possession that ended the first half, and left the game with a 45-7 lead.

Following the game, Levis received the Howard Schnellenberger Award as the Most Valuable Player of the Governor’s Cup game. He also earned College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Week honorable mention.

Kentucky concluded regular season play with a 9-3 record, giving the Wildcats nine wins for the first time since 2018, the 10th time in school history and just the third time in the last 44 seasons (1904, 1907, 1909, 1949, 1950, 1976, 1977, 1984, 2018 and 2021). It also marks the first time since 1949-52 that UK has had at least eight total victories (including bowls) three times in a four-year span.

In 12 games, Levis has totaled 92 rushes for 387 yards and a team-high nine rushing touchdowns, completed 216 of 325 passes (66.5 percent) for 2,593 yards with 23 scores, the most touchdown passes since Mike Hartline in 2010. He had two games this season (LSU and Tennessee) with three passing touchdowns and two rushing TDs in the same game, the only Wildcat ever to accomplish that feat. Levis ended the regular season play ranking sixth in the Southeastern Conference in total passing yards (2,444) and seventh in passing yards per game (216.08) and total offense (248.33).

The Wildcats, bowl-eligible for a school record sixth-straight season, will now await their postseason destination, which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 5.

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