Kentucky avoids upset, beats EKU 27-16

09/09/2017 05:18 PM

It wasn’t pretty, but Kentucky came away with a 27-16 win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in the team’s home opener.

After an Austin MacGinnis field goal on the opening drive, Kentucky fell apart. Penalties extended EKU’s drives, while the Colonels went on to score 13 unanswered points to take a 13-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

Stephen Johnson got the start, but the Kentucky coaching staff decided to give Drew Barker a chance on the first two series of the second quarter. Barker completed one pass for five yards on the two possessions. Both drives resulted in a three-and-out.

Stephen Johnson woke up after that. The senior quarterback re-entered the game and hit junior tight end C.J. Conrad for a 23-yard touchdown with less than two minutes in the half to cut EKU’s lead to 13-10.

The majority of the third quarter was uneventful. EKU hit a field goal at the 4:08 mark to take a six point late. Shortly after, Kentucky regained its lead after Benny Snell ran in for a 25-yard score. Stephen Johnson’s 21-yard rushing score in the fourth all about sealed Kentucky’s win.

The Wildcats totaled 436 yards on offense, 229 yards passing and 207 yards rushing. Stephen Johnson finished with 224 passing yards and two touchdowns, one rushing and one passing. Senior wide receiver Blake Bone had a career day, catching three passes for a team-high 93 yards. Benny Snell led the way in the backfield, rushing for 103 yards and a score.

Kentucky improves to 2-0 on the season. They must now prepare for a tough road test next Saturday at South Carolina. Kickoff from Columbia is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Mark Stoops was pleased with the win overall.

“We knew all week that it would be a tough game. A lot of people have their own opinions, but we watched them last week versus Western [Kentucky]. I said it in my press conference on Monday. I believe our players knew it was a good football team, that it would be a tough, hard-fought game. It was. Again, I give them a lot of credit. They did a lot of good things. I give our team credit for doing what they have to do to win the game.

Highlights:

Clayton Abernathy and Bradley McKee discuss their takeaways from the game.

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