Josh Allen, Kentucky’s senior linebacker, capped off an amazing season by racking up three sacks and a blocked field goal in UK’s victory over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.
Allen’s first sack came on Penn State’s third possession of the game. Facing a 3rd and 6 at the UK 15 yard line, Allen went untouched up the middle of the Nittany Lions’ offensive line to pull down quarterback Trace McSorley.
Allen overran McSorley initially, but recovered to record the sack.
Mr. Josh Allen has made his presence felt. pic.twitter.com/k0fkOiwsCY— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019
It turned out to be a big play early in the contest, as the sack pushed PSU back to the 22-yard line. Jake Pinegar’s 40-yard field goal attempt was wide right and the Cats took over at the 22 yard line.
Allen got to McSorley again later in the first quarter. On 3rd and 6 at their own 18-yard line, Allen beat his man and took down McSorley at the 14-yard line.
Josh Allen gets to the quarterback again and then rocks the baby like Russell Westbrook. pic.twitter.com/fjiQJWRX3T— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019
Allen showed up again near the end of the first half. After PSU drove down to the Kentucky 18-yard line, Pinegar came out again for a 36-yard field goal. As the kick left Pinegar’s foot, Allen got through the middle of the line again and got his big mitt on the ball. The kick fell well short and UK headed into halftime with a 10-7 lead.
Of course Josh Allen blocks the field goal. pic.twitter.com/J4WjeR28W4— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019
With Kentucky holding a 27-14 lead midway through the second half, Josh Allen sped past the left tackle and took McSorley to the turf. Allen would not be denied, as the senior racked up his third sack of the game.
Josh Allen's third sack of the day. Monster. pic.twitter.com/EpOTgxvaOS— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019
Allen’s final performance as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats football team was one to remember. Allen will head off to Indianapolis soon enough for the NFL Draft Combine with an eye toward the NFL Draft. Allen is expected to be one of the first players taken when the draft kicks off April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.
There’s actually a chance Allen is the No. 1 overall pick to the Cardinals, and Tuesday’s performance only helped his cause.
Allen and Vince Marrow also believe he should be the top pick:
If I’m not #1 than I don’t know who is ♂️ #GoCats— Joshua Allen (@JoshAllen41_) January 1, 2019
If @JoshAllen41_ is not the first pick of the draft I will be lost for words. He is by far the best player in college football hands down. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) January 1, 2019
For now, the NFL mock draft circuit has Allen going as high as No. 2 to the 49ers, including CBS Sports and SB Nation, while USA Today and Walter Football have him going No. 3 to the Jets.
While it would be nice to go No. 1, the Jets and 49ers are both in better position to become winning teams as soon as 2019, while the Cardinals are in the midst of a major rebuild. Heck, the 49ers could be a playoff team next season when Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy after missing most of 2018.
Pretty much every team drafting in the top 10 could use Allen, so it’s really hard to see him falling out of it, and it’s looking more and more like he’ll land somewhere in the top five. Tuesday’s performance will only bolster that belief.
Where would you like to see Allen end up?