Rodriguez ready to provide balance for UK vs. Iowa

Of his 397 career rushes, only 12 have been for negative yards.
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, right, celebrates with running back Chris Rodriguez...
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, right, celebrates with running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. after a Rodriguez touchdown during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against New Mexico State in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)(Michael Clubb | AP)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 9:27 PM EST
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ORLANDO, Fla. (WKYT) - The last couple of years, Kentucky has been a ground-oriented ball team.

With Will Levis and Wan’Dale Robinson and this passing attack, it has opened the running game even more for a guy like Chris Rodriguez. Rodriguez finishing the regular season with almost 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns, but it is his running style which really impresses the Iowa defense.

“I can’t remember when I have seen him with negative yards,” said Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker. “That’s going to be a challenge for us. I think he’s a good running back, he runs the ball well, and that’s what they want to do is run the ball.”

“You don’t get a full feel for Chris until you truly go live and people need to tackle him,” said UK offensive coordinator Liam Coen. “That’s been the thing that has probably been the most impressive since getting around Chris is, once you get him going he’s just rarely going to lose yards.”

“That’s not a thing I like to do is go backwards,” said Rodriguez. “That’s one thing when I was growing up my coach always told me to fall forward. That’s all I know how to do. When you run with a mentality that you want to score, coaches are like its third and one Chris and you just need a yard and that mentality is you want to get a yard, if you put your mind to it you will accomplish it.”

Of his 397 career rushes, only 12 have been for negative yards and he also had a string of more than 100 carries in a row where he was always moving in the right direction.

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