Kentucky creeps past EKU Colonels 28-17 in week 2 intrastate matchup

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 3:06 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT) - In Saturday’s Cats Corner sponsored by Gutter Worx, the Kentucky Wildcats took down EKU in a tale of two halfs, 28-17.

The Colonels held Kentucky to a three-and-out on the first drive of the game and blocked the punt.

After EKU’s offense took over, Parker McKinney scrambled for a long third down touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in Lexington early.

Near the two-minute mark in the first quarter, Kentucky’s defense brings enough pressure to get the stop the Cats needed, setting up the offense at their own seven-yard line.

EKU would lead at the end of the first, 7-0.

Early in the second, UK finally caught a break on defense after Trevin Wallace forced a fumble and Alex Afari recovered it.

The second quarter would continue to be filled with turnovers.

EKU redshirt sophomore linebacker Frank Lee deflected and caught a Devin Leary pass for an interception.

Then on the following drive, the Colonels gave it right back on a floated pass by McKinney that was grabbed by Kentucky’s Maxwell Hairston, his first career interception.

With less than two minutes left in the first half, a 36-yard punt return from UK wide receiver Barion Brown gave the Wildcats a boost.

“We kicked it straight to Barion and he made sure to tell me about it after the game,” EKU football head coach Walt Wells. “That’s on us, we have to do a better job at communicating because that can’t happen. If we can go in 7-0 right there, we will get a little momentum. We gave them the momentum going 7-7 so that’s where we ended up.”

The next play, Leary would throw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tayvion Robinson to tie the game going into halftime at seven a piece.

“Again, I think the good thing is we protected each other,” UK football head coach Mark Stoops said. “When the offense was struggling, the defense played really well. And then the defense gave up points and the offense goes down and scores. When we are both struggling, the special teams got the seven points. The bottom line is winning. An area where we didn’t get clean, and we have to improve is the penalties. Penalties are really hurting us.”

On the Colonels’ first drive of the second half, their offense marched down the field and finished with a 21-yard field goal, retaking the lead 10-7.

Midway through the third quarter, Tayvion Robinson would retake the lead to put the Wildcats back up, 14-10, on his second touchdown of the day.

Kentucky’s Barion Brown would get his first touchdown in the third quarter, improving the Wildcats’ lead to 21-10.

EKU would keep it a game though, with McKinney passing up the middle to a wide-open Braedon Slone. The game inched closer, 21-17.

Not too much later, UK running back Ray Davis would make a great grab rolling out the backfield for a 24-yard touchdown, putting the Cats up 11 at 28-17.

The day would end at Kroger Field as a tale of two different halfs as UK held on to win, 28-17.

“So, you know, we talked about some things and got some adjustments,” Stoops said. “But it was nice to see after, my point was, after the defense gave up that drive it was nice to see the offense get it and drive right down and score and protect that lead again. So, anyway. A lot to work off of. It is a lot better to go to work 2-0. So we will get some more things fixed.”

We will recap the night and other local college football games later Saturday on ARH Sports Overtime at 11:10 p.m.

Check out the full box score below:

EKU vs. Kentucky Box
EKU vs. Kentucky Box(Statbroadcast)