Kentucky football vs. South Carolina: Quarterback Will Levis out, Kaiya Sheron to start

Jake Adams
Louisville Courier Journal

Kentucky star quarterback Will Levis has been ruled out Saturday against SEC foe South Carolina, one week after dislocating a finger on his left (non-throwing) hand and injuring his ankle.

The SEC Network reported pregame Levis will not play and the team confirmed the news about 15 minutes before kickoff.

Levis, who is dealing with an undisclosed foot injury, was seen walking around in a boot while wearing sweats during Kentucky (4-1, 1-1 SEC) pregame warmups, with backups Kaiya Sheron and Deuce Hogan throwing. Sheron is the starter with Levis, a projected Top 10 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, sidelined.

Wildcats coach Mark Stoops said Thursday Levis hadn't been ruled out.

“My policy is always if somebody is out, I’ll tell you,” Stoops said Thursday. “I don’t have anybody out. If I had somebody out, I’d tell you.”

Levis said during the SEC Network pregame show he'll be back next week, when the Wildcats host Mississippi State at 7:30 Saturday night.

Sheron, a redshirt freshman, took over the No. 2 spot on UK's depth chart this week after Hogan, an Iowa transfer, had won the backup job during training camp. Sheron is the only one of the two to make an appearance this season; he played in mop-up duty Sept. 17 against Youngstown State and didn't record any stats.

The Somerset High School product does have experience on UK's Kroger Field, though, having led his alma mater to the Class 2A Kentucky high school state championship in 2019 with a game-winning throw at the buzzer.

Kentucky’s Will Levis during the Cat Walk Saturday afternoon before the team faced South Carolina.
Oct. 8, 2022

Meet Kaiya Sheron:Backup QB took over No. 2 job on depth chart this week

UK vs. South Carolina:Betting line, 3 things to know before picking

Levis was banged up in UK's first loss of the season last week, 22-19 at Ole Miss. He dislocated a finger on his left hand in the second quarter but returned the next drive and didn't miss a play. But Stoops said after the game Levis also sustained an ankle injury.

But it was unclear pregame if that or another foot ailment led to Levis missing his first start of the season. ESPN's Pete Thamel said on "College GameDay" Saturday morning Levis is suffering from turf toe.

Levis, who said Monday his finger was fine, went 18 of 24 for 220 yards and two touchdowns but took multiple sacks once again. The 6-foot-3 senior is 97 for 141 (68.6% completion percentage) for 1,405 yards and 12 touchdowns against four interceptions so far this season.

Follow assistant sports editor Jake Adams on Twitter @jakeadams520 or email him at jadams@gannett.com