The Kentucky Wildcats made a short trip to face rival Louisville Cardinals for the Governors Cup. It was the 31st all-time matchup between the two teams, and the Cats took over the all-time record 16-15 with a dominating 56-10 victory.
Out of the gate, the Kentucky offense was clicking as Kentucky went 53 yards in 8 plays capped off with a 7-yard TD run by Benny Snell to make it 7-0.
After the defense forced a punt, the Cats had a long field to go and they drove 84 yards and a 3-yard TD run by Terry Wilson made it 14-0 Cats.
The defense had some issues stopping the run attack by the Cardinals as a 75-yard TD run made it 14-7. Kentucky answered as Benny took it in from 24 yards out for his second TD of the half, 21-7.
The Cardinals were able to rush on the Cats’ defense again. However, it was bend but don’t break for the defense as they held them to a FG, 21-10.
Terry Wilson was outstanding throughout the half as the Cats scored a TD on every offensive possession and he closed the half by hitting Lynn Bowden on back to back possessions for a 28 yard and a 13-yard TD which gave the Cats a 35-10 lead at the break.
After the break, Kentucky continued to dominate the Cardinals. They were clicking on offense and the defense didn’t allow another score.
Terry Wilson hit Josh Ali for a 32-yard TD pass making it 42-10. AJ Rose followed that up with a big 75-yard TD run to increase that lead to 49-10.
Mark Stoops pulled the starters and put in the backups that will be leading this team in the future and freshman running back Kavosiey Smoke got in on the scoring and broke off a 37-yard TD run for the 56-10 lead.
Thoughts on the game
Terry Wilson was outstanding
If you watched this game and didn’t walk away with the sense that the future is extremely bright for Terry Wilson, then you didn’t watch the same game.
Wilson finished 17/23 for 261 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran the ball 10 times for 79 yards and a TD.
Terry did a lot of good things tonight from his reads all the way down to his composure in and out of the pocket and making smart plays. He threw the ball very accurately tonight and carved up the rival Cards.
He even caught the eye of recent Kentucky commit, wide receiver Wandale Robinson.
We need to remember that Wilson is only a sophomore and once he gets that deep ball (which is really close) down, he will be an outstanding QB.
Benny Snell is within striking distance of the record
We all know that this season Snell had a chance to set the all-time rushing record at Kentucky needing another big year to do so.
Well, coming into this one, he was 207 yards away from setting that record and finished with 100 yards and 2 TDs.
With Benny most likely headed to the NFL after this season, he will need to rack up 107 yards in the bowl game in order to set the rushing record. Kentucky is probably going to go up against Penn State or Northwestern in the Citrus Bowl.
While the Nittany Lions have a bigger name, seeing Benny set the record while getting revenge against Northwestern would be the perfect capper to his collegiate career.
Go get it Benny!
Lynn Bowden was unstoppable
Bowden is a very special talent to say the least, and in this one he was torching the Cards. He was making tacklers miss and blowing right past defenders on his way to a big performance for the Cats.
He finished with 6 receptions for 86 yards and 2 TDs while averaging over 14 yards per catch. Bowden is just a sophomore and it is already evident that him and Terry have a special connection on the field and we get two more years of watching them perform.
Well, at least one, as it won’t be a surprise to see Bowden go pro after 2019 at the rate he’s going. He already looks like one of the best receivers in the SEC for the 2019 season.
The future is bright
Yes, this team is going to be losing a lot of key players to graduation and the NFL. However, we need to be excited about what is there behind them.
Josh Pascal now back from his battle with cancer is only a sophomore and will redshirt this year making him a redshirt sophomore next season. He showed us what he can be his freshman year is going to be big for this program.
Deandre Square and Chris Oats are freshmen linebackers who have had their fair share of playing time this season and they are extremely talented. They will end up having great careers here at UK.
Replacing Benny (should he leave) will be hard but maybe not as hard as some may think. AJ Rose has shown this season that he is more than capable of being the lead back and has explosive speed and strength to do so. However, we also have two freshmen backs that have shown they can be very good as well.
The future is bright in Lexington.
Now, it’s time for a look at the top plays from Saturday!
Benny. Snell. Junior.— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
Bouncing off tacklers and outrunning the rest. pic.twitter.com/g7s3iqbhLs
Terry Wilson spins a beautiful ball to Lynn Bowden for their second touchdown connection tonight. pic.twitter.com/iSuh56mlTC— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
Absolute gorgeous throw by Terry Wilson to Josh Ali for the touchdown. pic.twitter.com/xkAmRETQ3v— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
Chris Oats unblocked for the sack. pic.twitter.com/Ky1ULL3E7K— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
AJ Rose takes it 75 yards to the house. Yowza. pic.twitter.com/0R5ZwhSsLz— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
Hot damn. Kavosiey Smoke drags the defender into the endzone for his first career touchdown. pic.twitter.com/uGVSxswqvl— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) November 25, 2018
Now, here are the postgame notes, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Team Records and Series Information
- Kentucky ends the regular season 9-3, with a two-game winning streak. Louisville is 2-10.
- Kentucky leads the series 16-15.
- Next for the Wildcats: Kentucky awaits its bowl destination, which will be announced Sunday, Dec. 2.
What the Win Means for Kentucky
- Kentucky’s 9-3 record is the team’s best regular season in 41 years, since the 1977 team went 10-1.
- This is just the fourth time in school history that UK has won at least nine regular-season games, also 1949 (nine), 1950 (10) and 1977 (10).
- Kentucky swept the regular-season non-conference schedule for the first time since 2010.
- UK has tied or improved its record every season since Mark Stoops became head coach in 2013.UK won two games in 2012, the season before Stoops arrived, followed by two wins in 2013, five in 2014 and ’15, seven in 2016 and ’17 and nine in 2018.
- UK is the only team in the nation to tie or improve its win-loss record in each of the last six seasons, including this year.
- This was the final regular-season game for 16 seniors. Today marked their 28th win over the last four seasons, tying for the second-most of any senior class since freshmen became eligible in 1972.
- Kentucky has four wins this season over teams that have won at least eight games – Florida, Mississippi State, Missouri and Middle Tennessee. UK also has wins over two more bowl-eligible teams, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
- Kentucky’s 46-point margin of victory is the largest in Governor’s Cup history.
- Kentucky scored a season-high 56 points. It’s the most since scoring 62 vs. New Mexico State in 2016.
- UK scored 35 points in the first half, the most in a first half since scoring 35 in the first half vs. New Mexico State in 2016.
- This is the first time since 1986 that UK has allowed 34 points or less in every game of the regular season.
- In addition to points, UK also set season highs with 29 first downs, 340 rushing yards and 601 total offensive yards.
- Kentucky converted 3-of-3 on fourth-down conversions tonight, with all three leading to UK touchdowns.
- Kentucky is now 9-0 this season when having more rushing yards than the opponent, 0-3 when the opponent wins the rushing yardage.
- A.J. Rose and Benny Snell each rushed for at least 100 yards tonight. It is the third time this season – also Central Michigan and Florida – that UK had a pair of 100-yard rushers.
- UK has allowed 16.2 points per game this season, the team’s best defensive mark since 1979 (13.0 points per game).
- UK won five games this year by limiting the opponent to 10 points or less. The last time UK held five opponents to 10 points or fewer was 1979.
- Louisville’s 10 first downs and 79 passing yards are the fewest by a UK opponent this season.
Governor’s Cup Records
- Kentucky did not punt in the game, tying the record for fewest punts set by Louisville in 2017.
- UK limited Louisville to 79 passing yards, fewest by one team in Governor’s Cup history.
- Benny Snell has five rushing touchdowns in Governor’s Cup games, tying the career record of five set by Louisville’s Michael Bush from 2003-06.
- UK’s game captains were RB Benny Snell, LB Kash Daniel, LB Josh Allen and S Mike Edwards.
- Sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson received the Howard Schnellenberger Award as the Most Valuable Player of the winning team in the Governor’s Cup.Wilson completed 17 of 23 passes for 261 yards and a career-high three touchdown passes.
- He rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown.
- He had career highs with 340 yards total offense and four total touchdowns.
- He has thrown a touchdown pass in seven straight games.
- He has completed at least 60 percent of his passes in 10 of 12 games this season.
- Junior running back Benny Snell Jr. rushed 18 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns.This was his sixth 100-yard game of the season and 18th of his career, tying the UK career record also held by Sonny Collins.
- Snell has rushed 58 times for 362 yards and five touchdowns in three games vs. Louisville.
- Has 3,729 career rushing yards, remaining in second place in UK history and advancing to 15th place in SEC history.He is fifth in SEC history in rushing yardage prior to a senior season.
- Snell scored his 45th and 46th touchdowns, extending his school record for total touchdowns and rushing touchdowns in a career. He is tied for tied for third in SEC history in rushing touchdowns.He trails only Herschel Walker (49 rushing TDs) for the most rushing TDs prior to his senior season in SEC history.
- Sophomore running back A.J. Rose ran 10 times for 112 yards, including a career-long 75-yard touchdown dash that is also the longest run by a Wildcat this season.
- True freshman running back Kavosiey Smoke got his first collegiate carries, rushing four times for 45 yards, including a 37-yard scoring dash.
- Sophomore wide receiver Lynn Bowden caught six balls for 86 yards and a career-high two touchdowns.He has 61 receptions this season, most for a Wildcat since Randall Cobb had 84 in 2010.
- It is the second-most receptions by a sophomore in school history.
- Sophomore wide receiver Josh Ali caught his first collegiate touchdown with a 32-yard reception.
- Senior wide receiver Dorian Baker caught two passes for 21 yards.He became the 16th player with at least 100 receptions in a career. He has 101 catches.
- Junior linebacker Kash Daniel led the Wildcat defense with eight tackles and a career-high three tackles for loss.
- Freshman linebacker Chris Oats was next with five tackles and had his second quarterback sack of the season.
- Senior linebacker Josh Allen had four tackles, including a sack.He extended his school records for most sacks in a season (14) and career (28.5).
- 12 of Allen’s 14 sacks this season have been in the second half, four in the third quarter and eight in the fourth quarter.
- UK has not allowed a point this season on all 14 opponent possessions that Allen has a sack.