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4 more thoughts and postgame notes from Kentucky beating Arkansas

Lynn Bowden put on a show as the Cats get a much-needed win

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It was Jared Lorenzen night in Lexington, as the Kentucky Wildcats were facing off with the Arkansas Razorbacks for #OneHellOfAGame.

Due to an injury to Sawyer Smith, the starting QB in this one was Lynn Bowden.

The Razorbacks received the ball and on the 2nd play of the game, Rakeem Boyd took it 74-yards to make it 7-0 early.

The Cats came out looking to get the run game going but didn’t find a ton of success early, as they had a punt and a fumble on their first 2 possessions.

After an Arkansas FG made it 10-0, the Cats drove down the field, but a penalty killed the drive, and a missed 47-yard FG would keep the Cats off the board.

Arkansas would tack on another FG to make it 13-0 with just under 6 minutes left in the half.

Kentucky would get the passing game going to open up the run as they went 75-yards in 10 plays, capped off with a 3-yard TD run by Bowden to send this one to halftime with the Cats trailing 13-7.

The second half was an exciting one, as the Cats came out and looked like a completely different team.

Kentucky would drive down the field but were forced to attempt a FG. Matt Ruffolo came in a drilled a 50-yard attempt to make it 13-10.

The Cats’ defense stepped up in the second half and forced Arkansas into back to back punts.

Bowden would lead a 48-yard drive in 6 plays ending with a 10-yard TD pass to Clevan Thomas to put the Cats up 17-13.

With excellent field position and just over 10 minutes left in the game, the Razorbacks punched it in to endzone to take 20-17 lead.

This next drive was essentially the game for the Cats, and Bowden led the offense down the field and ran in a 24-yard TD to put the Cats back on top 24-20 with 6:53 remaining.

Arkansas started moving the ball down the field, but in a classic bend don’t break stand, a Calvin Taylor sack and an incomplete pass would force a turnover on downs.

Kentucky successfully ran out the clock, and on Jared Lorenzen night, came away with a much needed 24-20 victory.

Thoughts on the game

Lynn Bowden was phenomenal

All week, we expected to see Bowden at QB, but we didn’t know what to expect as far as his performance goes.

Well, he took this one over and put on a show in Kroger Field.

The Cats didn’t go to the air much in this one, but Bowden was 7/11 passing for 78 yards and a TD.

Bowden did most of his damage on the ground, as he ran the ball 24 times for 196 yards and 2 TDs.

On the final drive when the Cats needed to run out the clock, Bowden broke off a 51-yard run and a 15-yard run to put this one on ice.

If Smith is unable to play going forward, or if the coaching staff decides to roll with Bowden, I like what he brings to the table.

Kavosiey Smoke and AJ Rose made big plays

While the star of the night was Bowden, Smoke and Rose stepped up when we needed them to as well.

The two combined for 27 carries and 135 yards with both having a long-run over 20-yards.

With the run being such a big part of our offense, it was nice to get a lot of production out of the top-2 guys in the backfield.

Receivers made big plays

A pass play wasn’t called many times tonight, but when it was the WRs and TEs took advantage of their opportunities and made plays for their QB.

Twice, Bowden pulled back and hit TE Justin Rigg for two big plays. And one one of them, Rigg carried the defenders for a 31-yard gain.

Clevan Thomas had 2 catches for just 10 yards, but one of those catches was a big-time catch in the end zone to give the Cats their first lead.

Even though they didn’t have their number called much, it was refreshing to see them go up and make plays when we needed them to.

Eddie Gran called a solid game

I wanted to bring this up, because I saw Gran getting a lot of heat on Twitter for some of the calls he made in this one.

While I agree that some of his calls were questionable, Gran called a pretty solid game overall.

We saw numerous times where the Cats would come set and then look to the sidelines after Gran saw the defense, and he would get them in the right play, and most of the time, gained positive yards.

Kentucky had 418 yards of total offense and possessed the ball for over 37 minutes.

Gran has deserved criticism in the past for some poor decisions, but this game was NOT one of those times.

Next week, the Cats will make a road trip to Athens for a matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs who lost at home this week to the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Now, here are the postgame notes and milestones via UK Athletics:

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 3-3, 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas is 2-4, 0-3 in the league.
  • Kentucky leads the series, 5-3. UK has won one in a row.
  • Next for Kentucky: the Wildcats play at Georgia on Saturday. Game time will be announced Sunday morning; it will be either 3:30 p.m. on CBS or 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky rushed for 330 yards tonight, most in an SEC home game since 2010 vs. Vanderbilt (341 yards).
  • Since 1985, UK is 34-0 in home games when rushing for at least 250 yards.
  • Kentucky dominated time of possession tonight, 37:11 to 22:49. It is UK’s longest time of possession since the 2016 game at Missouri (39:36). It is the most for a home game since 2014 vs. Vanderbilt (38:22).
  • UK converted 7 of 14 third downs tonight, third straight home game at 50 percent or better. It’s the first time UK has had 50 percent in three straight home games since 2007.
  • Since 2016, UK is 12-5 in games decided by seven points or less.
  • This was Mark Stoops’ 39th win at Kentucky, tying him with Rich Brooks for fifth on the school’s all-time list.
  • This was Stoops’ 29th home win at Kentucky, tying him with Fran Curci and Blanton Collier for third place in school history (second in Commonwealth Stadium/Kroger Field history).
  • Kentucky rallied to win after trailing 13-0. It was the 10th time under Stoops that UK has rallied from at least 10 points behind to win, most of any head coach in school history.
  • UK has rallied from 13 down to defeat Arkansas three times, more than any opponent in school history. UK also rallied from 13 behind to defeat the Razorbacks in 2007 and 2008.
  • Kentucky has allowed 34 points or less in 20 straight games, tied for the second-longest active streak in the nation.
  • 20 straight games at 34 points or less is the longest for Kentucky since a 20-game streak that includes all 11 games of the 1981 season and the first nine games of the 1982 season.
  • UK is now 9-5 in its last 14 SEC home games, best since a 9-5 stretch from 1953-57.
  • UK has won six straight October home games for the first time in Kroger Field/Commonwealth Stadium history.
  • Today’s game was “Jared Lorenzen Day” in honor of the former UK quarterback (2000-03) who died on July 3.
  • Today’s game was Homecoming. The first one was Nov. 25, 1915 as UK defeated Tennessee, 6-0. Early records are incomplete, but UK has hosted a Homecoming game every year since 1946 and now owns a 53-21 record in those contests.

Player Notes

  • UK’s game captains: OG Logan Stenberg, LB Kash Daniel, LB Josh Paschal and athlete Lynn Bowden Jr.
  • The honorary captain was RB Moe Williams, who rushed for 3,333 yards from 1993-95, including a single-game school record 1,600 yards in 1995.
  • Junior athlete Lynn Bowden Jr. made his first collegiate start at quarterback and played the entire game. He rushed 24 times for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
  • It is the most rushing yards for a Wildcat vs. an SEC opponent since Rafael Little ran for 198 yards at Vanderbilt in 2005.
  • It is the second-most for a UK quarterback in school history. Mike Fanuzzi ran for 208 yards vs. Miami (Ohio) in 1974.
  • Bowden is the first UK quarterback to rush for 100 yards since Terry Wilson in last season’s win at Florida.
  • He completed 7 of 11 passes for 78 yards and his first collegiate TD pass.
  • He is the first UK quarterback with two rushing and one passing touchdown since Patrick Towles vs. Mississippi State in 2014.
  • Playing QB the entire game, Bowden ended a streak of catching a pass in 19 consecutive games.
  • Sophomore WR Clevan Thomas made his first collegiate start. He caught two passes for 10 yards and his first collegiate touchdown.
  • Sophomore safety Yusuf Corker tied his career high for tackles for the second consecutive game with nine stops. He also had a pass breakup and quarterback hurry.
  • Junior LB Boogie Watson had two tackles, including a quarterback sack. He leads the team with 3.5 sacks this season and has 10.5 for his career.
  • Senior defensive tackle Calvin Taylor came up big on the final possession of the game. He had a quarterback sack on third down, then tipped Arkansas’ fourth-down pass on the Razorbacks’ final offensive play. Taylor had two PBU during the game.
  • Junior punter Max Duffy punted three times for a 44.3-yard average, dropping two inside the 20-yard line.
  • Junior kicker Matt Ruffolo hit a career-long 50-yard field goal on the first drive of the second half.