LEXINGTON – November 23, 2019 – Noah Banks – BSN
The Kentucky Wildcats became bowl eligible for the 4th consecutive season and improved to 6-5 on the year in a tune-up 50-7 victory over UT Martin (7-5) before taking on in-state rival, the Louisville Cardinals next week.
Kentucky and the air-raid offense are no longer, as for the 2nd straight week, the Cats were able to punish their opponent with a grueling ground game, rushing for over 400 yards both weeks, and setting a school-record this week, rushing for 462 yards against the Skyhawks.
Following the game when asked about the crazy numbers put up on the ground, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran stated that “The line deserves a lot of this…The upfront blocking has been good,” he said. “We have some good guys running the football, so you put that combination together and they believe in what we are doing, and it has been successful.”
In terms of numbers, running back A.J Rose chipped in 105 yards on 6 touches and added a touchdown for the Cats, while quarterback Lynn Bowden had his 5th 100-yard rushing game in just 6 starts and finished with 129 yards on 11 carries and chipped in 2 touchdowns.
All in all, after playing in a steady rainfall, the record setting outing featured several big plays, and gave Big Blue Nation a glimpse at what the future holds for Kentucky football as many young players got several snaps, including freshman running back Travis Tisdale, who exploded for a 53-yard run and tallied his first collegiate touchdown.
In addition to the game, in a post-game press conference Head Coach Mark Stoops addressed a report that he had recently met with Florida State Officials in Cincinnati about their job opening, and after what had many fans and recruits speculating, all of those rumors can be put to rest.
“I had a great experience there,” said Stoops referring to his days as the defensive coordinator at FSU, “It afforded me the opportunity to be here…this is where my heart is. This is where I want to be. So, I’m going to be at Kentucky,” he stated.
Stoops said he addressed the report because he was “getting phone calls and answering the questions to recruits, and it was just time to address the questions directly (to the media)”.
With the speculation of the Cats losing their head coach gone, they can focus solely on next week’s rivalry week matchup as Kentucky plays host to the visiting Louisville Cardinals for the battle of the Governor’s Cup.
The game will kick-off at 12pm on Nov. 30 and will be aired on the SECNetwork.