Kentucky is 3-0 on the season and has jumped to No. 8 in this week’s AP Top 25.

The Wildcats take on Northern Illinois at home Saturday night.

The Huskies are coming off a 38-28 loss to another SEC program, Vanderbilt.

During Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said he was impressed with what he saw from the Commodores in that game.

“They got down and didn’t flinch and hung back in there and really made plays when they had to,” Stoops said. “… They really played with a lot of poise. You could tell they’re very well coached and making some significant improvements.”

Stoops also talked Wednesday about running back Chris Rodriguez, who has yet to play this year.

The 5-11, 224-pounder rushed for nearly 1,400 yards a year ago and is set to return October 1 against Ole Miss.

On Wednesday, Stoops conformed that Rodriguez has been practicing.

“Yes, he’s been practicing with the team,” Stoop said during the weekly SEC coaches teleconference. “… He’s been still taking some reps on the scout team just to stay in shape. … He’s coming down and taking some reps with the 1s and 2s as well, just to keep him in tune with what we’re doing. … We’re looking forward to having him back.”

Stoops was also asked about how efficient Will Levis and the passing game were against Youngstown State last week and have been all season.

“We might have thrown it 35 times this past week for 377 yards. … (Levis) only maybe had 6 or 7 incompletions,” Stoops said. “He’s doing some really good things, he really is.”

The Wildcats and Northern Illinois will face off Saturday on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. (ET). Kentucky is currently a 26.5-point favorite.