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Barion Brown’s kickoff return TD nearly ended in disaster

A game of inches between a highlight-reel play and an epic blunder.

Barion Brown

Before the Kentucky Wildcats opened their season against Miami-Ohio on Saturday, it was a certainty that many new faces would be heavily involved in the offensive scheme.

Replacing the production of the legendary Wan’Dale Robinson is an enormous task and a topic that’s been a focal point of preseason discussions.

One name that Kentucky fans have been eager to see is former 5-star prospect Barion Brown. The freshman is just one year removed from high school but quickly acclimated enough to earn a starting position right out of the gate.

The Cats came out completely flat in the first half of their opening game, holding just a three point lead at intermission against Miami-Ohio from the MAC.

Then, it happened.

Barion Brown showed the Big Blue Nation what he’s all about by taking the opening second half kickoff 100 yards to the house for six...

But wait!

To the disdain of UK fans, the immediate celebration following the touchdown was throttled by the the far too common “dropping the ball before crossing the goal-line” review.

Brown was blazing so fast down the sideline that it didn’t appear in real-time there was any issue whatsoever with his impressive blitz into the end zone.

But upon seeing the slow motion replay, an argument could have absolutely been made that the freshman relinquished possession of the ball before it broke the plain.

Thankfully, there wasn’t conclusive evidence on review and Barion Brown’s first big play as a Wildcat wasn’t tainted by an embarrassing blunder.

Freshman will be freshman, and this is obviously something that’s very easy to correct.

Perhaps Brown learned a tough lesson without any suffering any real negative consequences?

Whatever the case, let’s not let the review take away from the jaw-dropping speed that Brown flexed in his debut as a Wildcat.

I had a bird’s eye view of the kickoff return and didn’t think there was any way he’d be able to turn the corner with the angle that the defender had.

But you know what they say about the SEC: Speed kills!

Also, incredibly, this was Kentucky’s first kickoff return for a TD since Derick Locke burned Louisville for one in the 2009 season. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since a Kentucky kickoff returner took one to the house, but that slump is now a thing of the past.

Welcome to the family, Barion.

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