UK VS. AUBURN | Missed opportunities doom Cats, fall 30-27

10/15/2015 08:59 PM

LEXINGTON — Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Missed opportunities and questionable late-game play calling doomed the Kentucky Wildcats in a 30-27 loss to the Auburn Tigers on Thursday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

On fourth-and-three from the Auburn 43 with 0:30 remaining, UK quarterback Patrick Towles could not evade the Tigers’ blitz, taking a sack to turn the ball over on downs and end the Wildcats’ first-ever Thursday night home game with a disappointing defeat.

Towles finished 27/44 for 359 yards and one huge interception in the redzone early in the second quarter, and the Wildcats (4-2, 2-2 SEC) dropped their 17th decision to the Tigers in the last 18 meetings.

On the previous two plays before the game-ending sack, Stanley “Boom” Williams took an inside draw for only two yards, and Towles misfired deep down the sideline to wide receiver Jeff Badet, who was unable to complete an acrobatic catch near the five-yard line, forcing the decisive fourth-down play.

Williams rushed 16 times for a game-high 116 yards and two touchdowns in his return appearance after sitting out against Eastern Kentucky while dealing with a personal issue.

Auburn (4-2, 1-2 SEC) earned its first conference victory of the season with the win behind redshirt freshman quarterback Sean White who completed 17/27 passing attempts for 255 yards and no turnovers. Tiger running back Peyton Barber added 92 yards and two touchdowns on the ground with wide receiver Ricardo Louis overcoming an eye injury suffered in the first half to finish with seven catches for 154 yards.

Kentucky missed on several opportunities to tie or take the lead throughout the game.

Trailing 14-7 in the second quarter, Towles forced a pass to sophomore wide receiver Dorian Baker in the endzone, throwing an interception and ending the Wildcats’ streak of 28 consecutive scoring drives in the redzone.

Later in the third quarter, Baker dropped what would have been a 14-yard touchdown pass to give UK a 24-23 lead. Instead, UK settled for a 31-yard Austin MacGinnis field goal to trail 23-20.

Sophomore wide receiver Garrett Johnson hauled in nine catches for a game-high 160 yards for the Wildcats.

Kentucky will play to get back on the winning track next Saturday at Mississippi State.

Scroll below for Twitter highlights from the second half:


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