Kentucky survives early scare, crushes Austin Peay to clinch bowl eligibility

11/19/2016 08:14 PM

The Kentucky Wildcats are bowl eligible for the first time since the 2010 season, as they defeated Austin Peay 49-13.

It couldn’t have been a worse start for Kentucky. The Wildcats, who entered the game as a heavy favorite, fell down early 13-0 to the Governors at the end of the first quarter.

Kentucky started backup quarterback Luke Wright, a transfer from Cincinnati, in place of an injured Stephen Johnson (knee). Johnson would only be used in emergency situations. It quickly became an emergency situation early on after Wright through a pick six to give Austin Peay a 13-0 lead. Stephen Johnson entered the game in the next possession. He found Jeff Badet open on a deep throw for a touchdown, but Badet dropped the pass.

The Wildcats finally woke up midway through the second quarter. Benny Snell opened the scoring up for Kentucky on a 30-yard touchdown run. The next two possessions, Stephen Johnson threw two touchdown passes to CJ Conrad and Garrett Johnson to give Kentucky a 21-13 lead at half.

The Wildcats pulled away in the second half, scoring 28 more points while shutting out Austin Peay the rest of the way.

It was a record-breaking night for running backs Benny Snell and Boom Williams. The dynamic duo broke the record for most rushing yards between two running backs in a season in Kentucky history. Snell also broke the record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman in the third quarter when he rushed for a 48-yard score, his second of the night. Snell would go on to break the 1,000 yard mark later in the half, giving Kentucky two 1,000 yard rushers for the first time in program history. Snell finished with 152 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams rushed for 47 yards and a score. Senior Jojo Kemp also had a strong performance in his last game at Commonwealth, rushing for 58 yards and two scores. Kentucky rushed for 281 yards on the night and totaled 410 yards of offense.

While a bowl game is imminent, Kentucky’s main focus is on arch-rival Louisville. The Cats will travel to Louisville next Saturday for a noon kickoff.

Benny Snell, Chris Westry and Boom Williams talked about what the seniors have meant to them:

Senior Jojo Kemp has a special message for the Big Blue Nation:

Check out some other notes and highlights here:



Clayton Abernathy

Clayton Abernathy is the producer for KSTV. A recent graduate from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism, Clayton covered UK sports throughout his four year college career for various radio and television stations, including an internship with KSTV last summer. He is passionate about UK sports, and loves to apply that passion to his work every day. He loves to eat, run, explore nature, jam with his buddies, and play basketball and golf on the weekends. You can follow Clayton on Twitter @Abernathy_cn2.

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