On October 14th, 2014, Jojo Kemp carved out his legacy in Kentucky Wildcat football lore. He rushed 17 times for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns, mostly from the Wildcat formation, to lead Kentucky over South Carolina in what seemed like a program-defining SEC win at the time.
Fans will not soon forget what Kemp has done for the football program. He led the team in rushing in 2013 as a freshman. He put the team on his back throughout the 2014 season. Last year he was a key part of Kentucky’s 1-2 backfield punch alongside Boom Williams.
But due to an untimely injury, it seems Kemp’s role in his senior campaign may be in the back seat behind Kentucky’s newfound thunder and lightning duo of Williams and true freshman bruiser Benny Snell.
Kemp was sidelined with an ankle injury two weeks ago against New Mexico State, and Snell got his number called in the rotation. He took full advantage of the opportunity and ran for 136 yards and 4 touchdowns on 17 carries, a very similar stat line to what Kemp put up against South Carolina two years ago.
Although Kemp was listed as the second running back on the depth chart behind Williams against South Carolina on Saturday, he received significantly fewer carries (4) than both Williams (15) and Snell (16).
With the Gamecocks defense on their heels, Eddie Gran continually handed the ball to Snell in the second half. In fact, 12 of his 16 carries came in the 4th quarter, including the co-ahead touchdown with 10:21 left to play.
As elated as the Kentucky faithful were to be in control of the game, many took notice of the fact that this role is usually occupied by Kemp...particularly against South Carolina.
broadcast: "This is looking like Jojo Kemp from two years ago...just the same play over and over again," @tomleachKY on FEEDING Benny Snell— UK Sports Network (@UKRadioNetwork) September 25, 2016
Kemp is on track for a career low of 51 carries this season. In his 3+ seasons at Kentucky, he has gone from being the lead running back, to the only running back, to the complimentary running back, and no matter what the depth chart says it looks as though he is now the “other” running back.
Regardless of his role moving forward, Jojo Kemp has given his all to Kentucky football for the last 4 years. Fans are hopeful that he has a little magic left in his final season. But even if he does not score a single touchdown for the rest of the year, he has definitely left his mark on the football program and with the Big Blue Nation.