It was ugly, but the Wildcats are 4-1 heading into their third conference game of the year against Missouri.
Eastern Michigan managed five sacks and 10 tackles for loss against a struggling Wildcat offensive line, the rushing offense totaled just 53 yards, and Kentucky finished with an embarrassing 12 total yards on 14 plays in the fourth quarter. Yikes.
But it wasn’t all ugly.
Let’s look at the four positive takeaways from Kentucky’s victory:
Dean Hood absolutely has this unit COOKING.
Matt Panton finished the day with eight punts for 378 total yards (47.25 AVG), including a 71-yard bomb downed at the four-yard line. The Wildcat punt team is currently ranked 3rd in SEC allowing just 4 yards per return.
Charles Moushey made his presence known yet again with an impressive tackle on an EMU return, as well.
Tristan Yeomans recovered a muffed punt by the Eagles to give a stalled Wildcat offense a second chance.
True freshman Josh Paschal blocked one punt, recovered by the Wildcats at the 12-yard line to set up an easy touchdown by Benny Snell.
Lynn Bowden was unable to get many opportunities on the return team, but still managed one kick return for 26 yards.
Mike Edwards easily recovered an onside kick at the end of the game, as well.
Punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return, etc., the special teams unit rocked.
Junior edge rusher Josh Allen is a man among boys, and there’s nobody in the world that can tell me otherwise. Allen finished the day as the team’s second-leading tackler with seven, along with 1.5 sacks.
Allen finished the day as the team’s second-leading tackler with seven, along with 1.5 sacks.
Allen is now listed fourth in the nation with 5.5 QB sacks.
When he wasn’t bringing the quarterback down, he was forcing him out of the pocket and making him uncomfortable at all times. He was inches away from another sack in the end zone that would have resulted in another sack on the day and two more points on the board.
Edwards led the team with eight total tackles, but his biggest contribution came in pass coverage.
He came up in massive moments, breaking up two passes and being in position to force several incompletions throughout the contest.
Edwards also sealed the game with an interception on a Hail Mary as time expired, his third of the season and seventh of his bright career.
The junior safety is tied for first in the SEC and sixth in the entire country in interceptions.
Enjoy him while you can, because this kid is going to be playing on Sundays next year.
Two receptions for 40 yards doesn’t sound like world-beating statistics, but his impact on the outside was massive.
Both of Ross’ catches came on third-and-long situations, with the first leading to a touchdown, and the other leading to a field goal.
We’ve been waiting for a breakout game for the JUCO transfer, and this might have been the game to give him confidence going forward.
Did any other Wildcats earn helmet stickers? Let us know in the comment section.