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Kentucky’s Historic Football Season by the Numbers

Kentucky’s spectacular 2018-19 football season took the program to heights seen only by few.  To reach the ten-win milestone, the Wildcats broke records and posted crazy numbers.  The following few are the best of the best.

Defense

7 — Kentucky’s scoring defense finished seventh in the country, allowing only 16.8 points per game.  The UK defense was the only power five unit to allow more than 24 points just once (Georgia).  Kentucky was 19th in the country in pass defense, allowing just 186.3 yards per game, and 23rd in total defense at 337.9 yards per game.  It’s the first time under Stoops UK’s defense has held opponents under 400 yards a game.  All are high watermarks for Mark Stoops’ defense.

7.8 — Penalties a game committed by Kentucky opponents, the fourth-most in the nation.

17 — Josh Allen’s new single-season sack record is the third-most in SEC history, trailing only Derrick Thomas in 1987 and 1988.  Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson topped Allen by only a half-sack.  Allen was credited with more sacks than 13 FBS teams, including Louisville, who finished the year with 11.

19 — Mike Edwards’ 317 career tackles are the second-most by a defensive back in school history.  He finishes 19th all-time and is the first person to join UK’s 300-tackle club since Danny Trevathan.

21.5 — Josh Allen’s tackles for loss were the second most in a Kentucky season, .5 behind Art Still.  The National Defensive Player of the Year led the SEC  in TFLs and was sixth in the nation.  Allen finished his career with 42 tackles for loss. I believe it’s the only Oliver Barnett career record he did not break.

24 — Career interceptions by Kentucky’s five senior defensive backs: Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity, Darius West, Christ Westry and Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Special Teams

3 — Lynn Bowden was one of three players in the country with two punt return touchdowns.  What makes the feat even more incredible is that he scored twice in only five returns.  He’s the first UK player since Derek Abney to return more than one punt for a touchdown in a season.

14 — In his first year punting, Max Duff was 14th in country, averaging 44.78 yards per punt.  Duffy’s two longest punts of the year, 67 and 65 yards, were in the Citrus Bowl.  With a dominant defense and a ball control offense, Duffy’s ability to flip the field directly impacted the scoreboard.

20 — Kentucky’s kickoff coverage was ranked 20th in the nation and second in the SEC.  The hidden yards gave UK’s defense another advantage.

Offense

4 — C.J. Conrad became just the fourth tight end and 28th player in school history to record more than 1,000 yards receiving.  He finished his career with 1,015 and was one touchdown away from tying UK’s career record for receiving scores by a tight end.

67 — Lynn Bowden broke Derek Abney’s record for receptions in a season by a sophomore.  He caught 34.5 percent of UK’s passes, the highest percentage in school history.  The only UK wide receiver with more receiving yards as a sophomore is Dicky Lyons Jr., who had 822 to Bowden’s 745.

67.2 — Terry Wilson’s completion percentage was the seventh-best among Power Five schools and the second-best in school history, trailing only Tim Couch’s 1998 season (72.3%).  Terry Touchdown is the first UK quarterback to accumulate at least 1,500 passing yards and 500 net rushing yards in the same season.

1,449 — Benny Snell ranked sixth in the nation in rushing yards to become Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher with 3,873 career yards. Snell’s 16 rushing touchdowns were good enough to be ranked ninth in America.  He now holds just about every UK rushing record.  He ranks 12th in the SEC in career rushing yards and third in rushing touchdowns.  Snell Yeah.


via UKAthletics

Congratulations are in order – Josh Allen is ENGAGED!

via UKAthletics

As if Josh Allen’s year hasn’t been great enough already… He’s officially engaged! Allen just announced the exciting news on his Instagram account. Take a look at that ring:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’M MARRYING THE LOVE OF MY LIFE AND SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!!

A post shared by Father To Wesley DeVon Allen (@joshallen41) on

With his college football career officially over and the NFL draft quickly approaching, Allen must have felt it was the perfect time to pop the question to his long-time girlfriend. The two already share an adorable son, who Allen has frequently called his motivation as well as his reasoning for returning to Kentucky for his senior season.

I’m no ring expert, but based on the size of that rock, I’d say Allen has signed an agent and is already looking forward to making the big bucks. Good for him, and congratulations to the future Mr. and Mrs. Allen!


Six moments that created UK football’s special season

10-3. Soak it in, BBN, because the 2018-19 football season was one for the books. Sure, Kentucky’s season just ended yesterday, but maybe you’re already feeling nostalgic. There were plenty of great moments over the course of the past few months, but I decided to round up some of the very best. These are the moments that changed UK’s season.

Terry Wilson’s run against Florida.

Kentucky’s still-new quarterback had one of his strongest game of the season way back on Sept. 8 against the Gators. He finished with 11 of 16 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and just one interception. He rushed for 105 yards and ran in one touchdown of his own. He had great passes to Lynn Bowden and David Bouvier, but it was his scrappy nature that stood out during the Gator hunt. Throughout the game, he hustled his way to first downs and, in this case, even a touchdown.

Wilson’s performance helped carry the Cats to a 27-16 victory which, of course, led to the end of that terrible 31-year streak. In the process, UK got to see Terry Wilson’s potential on full display.

Cats become 5-0… in more ways than one

The Florida streak wasn’t the only one Kentucky improved upon this year. For the fifth straight season, Mark Stoops & Co. defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks. The victory also put the Cats’ record at 5-0, an incredibly-impressive feat when you remember the Vegas line had the over-under line set at 5.5…

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley was picked off three times by Kentucky – Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity and Darius West all snatched interceptions. Despite a scoreless second half, the then-No. 17 Wildcats held on for the win.

CJ Conrad’s impossible catch

I know you all remember this one.

© Denny Medley | USATSI

CJ Conrad’s last-second touchdown catch against Missouri not only won the game for Kentucky, but it also gave the Cats the chance to compete for the SEC East title. Of course, the Cats ultimately fell to Georgia, but they only had that chance thanks to Kentucky’s senior tight end.

As fabulous as Conrad’s catch was, it wouldn’t have mattered were it not for the Kentucky defense. They fought the whole game, at one point even forcing eight straight three-and-outs for the Tigers. Missouri was averaging around 500 yards of offense per game before their matchup with the Wildcats. Against Kentucky, they scored just 14 points.

Josh Paschal’s return

What an emotional year for Josh Paschal. Last season, Josh Allen and Denzil Ware were referring to him as “Baby Blitz.” He was poised to have a break-through year, then Coach Stoops broke the devastating news of Paschal’s diagnosis at media day in August. Shortly thereafter, news of Coach John Schlarman’s own health issues also broke.

The team used these two men as inspiration for a special season.

“What Josh Paschal’s gone through and Coach Schlarman, it keeps things in perspective. This is still just a game,” Stoops said before the bowl game. “Obviously we know how important that is and how many people we affect, but when you start looking at things like that, it keeps things in perspective, and our team has really rallied around those two.”

It was a truly special moment when Paschal made his way back onto Kroger Field. During the final home game of the season, he served as a starter and recorded his first tackle of the season.

Josh Allen’s monster senior day

While Josh Pascal may have had the feel-good moment of the day, a different Josh had a different kind of moment on the field – the record-breaking kind. Against Middle Tennessee State, Allen officially became the school’s leading sacker. And it didn’t take long for the record to be updated inside Kroger Field:

The record-breaking sack couldn’t have come at a better time: a fourth-and-one play at the UK 32-yard line. A MTSU touchdown here would tie the game. Allen wasn’t going to let that happen.

Then, on MTSU’s final drive of the game, he did it again. This sack broke the record for most QB sacks in a single season. After an already-memorable senior season, it was more than fitting for Allen to finish strong inside Kroger Field.

Oh, No. 41. We’re going to miss you.

Benny’s big moment

It’s a record we’ve been tracking all year: the all-time leading rushing record. From the beginning of the season, Snell had breaking the record listed as one of the goals hanging in his bedroom. Against Penn State, and during his final game as a Wildcat, Snell made it happen.

Of course, the moment didn’t come without some drama. He surpassed the necessary 107 yards in the most “Snell Yeah” way possible – running the ball in for a touchdown.


Of course, there were dozens of other moments that made this season a special one. But it was the combination of it all that led to a 10-3 season, a record (and streak) breaking year and a bowl game victory over a “football school” like Penn State. UK football, thanks for an excellent season.

When’s the next kickoff?