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Stephen Johnson Carries Kentucky to 27-16 Victory over EKU


Kentucky’s season-opener at Kroger Field was nearly a catastrophe, but Stephen Johnson was there to save the day and propel UK to their second victory of the season.

The Cats’ sluggish start on both sides of the ball was compounded by two big calls: one by the officials and one by the Kentucky coaching staff.

Lynn Bowden knocked an opponent off his block on a Stephen Johnson scramble, but upon further review, Bowden was ejected for targeting, a call best described as “controversial.”  The call by the UK staff might have been even worse.  Stephen Johnson was 7-for-9 when he was replaced on the third drive of the game by Drew Barker.  In two drives with Barker at the helm, the Cats went three-and-out twice, he was sacked twice and completed just 1-of-2 passes for 5 yards.

When Johnson returned, the game changed.

Kentucky immediately marched down the field.  The five-play, 75-yard drive took just 58 seconds and ended with a 23-yard touchdown to C.J. Conrad, just before the end of the first half.  In the third quarter, Benny Snell and Blake Bone helped Johnson and Co. put the Colonels away.  Bone’s 43-yard reception led to Snell’s 25-yard go-ahead touchdown.

Bone finished with a career-high 93 yards on 3 catches, Snell averaged 5.4 yards per carry (103 total yards) but Johnson deserves more credit than he will receive.  Kentucky’s QB1 completed 68 percent of his passes for 224 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 48 yards and the 21-yard score that put Kentucky up eight late in the fourth quarter.

Mike Edwards put the dagger through the Colonels’ heart.  His interception with 4:13 remaining put the game out of reach for good.

The win may have been ugly, but the alternative would’ve been a catastrophe.  For the ninth time in 13 tries, Stephen Johnson proved he will do whatever it takes to ensure Kentucky will leave the field with a win.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

20 responses to “Stephen Johnson Carries Kentucky to 27-16 Victory over EKU”

  1. TBW3011

    Barker and Johnson had no chance until the o-line started protecting and creating holes. O-Line lead the way. Johnson just happened to be playing when the holes opened for the run and the QB got a bit of protection. Settle down

  2. TBW3011

    PS. Stop assigning records to QB’s. It’s stupid. We ran for 250 per game last season. Won 1 game where SJ was the major reason. And it was a huge one. I’ll forever be thankful to him for that. I can also be real and recognize he’s average at best.

    1. AirRaid98

      But he’s the best we have…so🤔

    2. TBW3011

      Maybe he is. I don’t think that’s for certain though.

    3. bailey000

      Johns added to that rushing stat line also. When u have a dual purpose QB everything is easier because the defense is forced to respect him. Barker will hopefully transfer.

    4. bailey000

      U can call him average if u want to, but when u make the people around u better you’re a great football player. Remember last year??? Pretty happy Johnson was our guy!

    5. UK Big Board Update

      Our coaching staff sees these guys in practice every day, yet they don’t know as much as some know-it-all goober in the comments section of KSR.

      Because, the internet.

  3. Luether

    Fortunate to win…

    1. UK Big Board Update

      41-38

  4. LegggoooCats

    Isn’t it funny that Jeff Badet transfers to Oklahoma, and balled out against Ohio State tonight? Hmmmm… just shows the difference in what a powerhouse school can do with talent versus us, and that sucks. Our coaching staff is a friggin joke!

    1. TBW3011

      Settle down. He’s not the next coming like some paint him, but he’s not what you’re claiming either. He’s doing a good job so far. Not terrible. Not incredible. Good.

    2. LegggoooCats

      I know what you’re saying, and I mostly agree, but I think “good” is a little better than he deserves to be called at this point. I know being a Kentucky Football fan has always been tough, but I’m sorry, I expect much better. If little brother can do it, then we should be able to do it. It’s a disgrace. I hate Louisville with every ounce of my being, but am envious of the fact that they are relevant in basketball, baseball, and football. It’s time we catch up on the gridiron, I’m sick of the excuses.

    3. EdC

      If he caught passes instead of bump setting easy interceptions while he was at UK he would have “balled out” here too. The coaching staff can’t catch the balls for them.

    4. ky1988

      If he caught more pass last year they would have won more games. But there is no way you can blame uk coach for that.

    5. KYcats11

      Why all the negativity? We’re 2-0!!!

    6. AirRaid98

      Have you not seen the games? Barely beating a C-USA and OVC team hardly gives me any confidence going forward.

    7. UK Big Board Update

      “I’m sorry, I expect much better. If little brother can do it, then we should be able to do it. It’s a disgrace. I hate Louisville with every ounce of my being, but am envious of the fact that they are relevant in basketball, baseball, and football. It’s time we catch up on the gridiron, I’m sick of the excuses.

      Typical Louisville fan pretending to be UK fan response. Do better.

  5. LegggoooCats

    Just look at Matt Elam’s obese out of shape ass. If he had chosen Bama out of high school, he would either be a star by now, or transferred because they wouldn’t put up with his lack of discipline and pitiful work ethic. Stoops can recruit, but he’s best as a coordinator… not head coach material.

  6. kydrummer

    Some of you fair weather fans are pathetic!

  7. Cokely53

    What I’m confused about is our choice to use shotgun in those late down short yardage situations with unproven centers who keep launching the ball over the head of Johnson and snell. We had 3 WRs left in wildcat formation yesterday and I think EKU maybe covered one of them.