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Kentucky needed overtime to get past EKU

@UKAthletics

They say a win is a win, but tell that to the stain in my shorts from watching Kentucky go down two touchdowns late in the game to the neighboring Eastern Kentucky Colonels. I had very little to no confidence when Eastern scored the go-ahead touchdown; I had zero confidence once Eastern added another on top of it with a little over seven minutes to go.

Then Patrick Towles and Kentucky’s offense stepped up and got the job done, tying the game on a fourth-down fade route to force overtime. From there, things looked positive entering OT and all of those “what-if” thoughts running through our heads slowly disappeared. (But really, can you imagine how bad a loss would’ve been???)

It was a hard-fought game, one that was supposed to be a blowout, but the fourth W is in the win column. And that’s all that matters in the end.

Let’s talk about it for a moment then forget about it…

 

It’s safe to say the Cats overlooked the opponent this week.

With a bye week and the biggest game of the year ahead, there’s no doubt Kentucky is guilty of looking past its FCS opponent. Early in the week, Mark Stoops mentioned getting Drew Barker some reps in this game, as well as other reserves. He never came out and said he expected to be up big on the Colonels, but quotes from him and the assistants suggested strong confidence heading into the game.

Yes, Eastern played well — kudos to them — but an SEC team shouldn’t be down two touchdowns to an FCS school at home. The talent gap is just too wide, even at Kentucky. Chalk this one up to relaxing all week and not getting up for the opponent. And Eastern giving them hell on top of that.

The rushing numbers are disappointing.

180 for Eastern, 55 for Kentucky. No excuse for that. Shouldn’t happen. Ever.

Another frustrating stat: UK needed overtime to catch EKU in total yards.

But…

Patrick Towles was outstanding. After halftime.

After giving the Drew Barker advocates plenty to complain about in the first half, Towles turned things around after the break. He responded to a 10-for-19, two-interception first half with 222 yards on 19-of-23 passing and two touchdowns in the second half and overtime.

Just when you think Towles has tanked and it’s time to give his backup a look, he answers the call and plays the quarterback position as well as anyone. We saw it in the Missouri game after many fans called for a change all week, then again tonight when he played a disappointing first 30 minutes. Now, how do we get him to do it all of the time? It’s in him, we’ve seen it. Just gotta find that consistency.

The win tied the school record for biggest fourth quarter comeback.

And for the fourth time this year, Kentucky closed out a game by putting points on the board and making stops defensively with their backs against the wall. They love to make us sweat these out, but they get it done in the end.

“Very proud of the finish,” Stoops told Tom Leach.

Dorian Baker was unstoppable.

The aforementioned record comeback was made possible because of one Dorian Baker. He hauled in a difficult fourth-down catch for the game-tying touchdown; then bulldozed his way into the end zone in overtime for the game-winner.

Shannon Dawson said Baker demanded the ball on a screen with no blockers in overtime. Well that’s what he got, and he took it to paydirt for the win. He carried the Cats in the end.

“He’s a man,” said Towles.

Baker finished with eight catches for 82 yards and those two scores. The win doesn’t happen without his playmaking.

Cory Johnson has been a monster the last three weeks, tonight especially.

There’s a reason I picked Johnson as my MVP on the pregame show: he has been unblockable as of late and Eastern’s offensive line wasn’t cut out to slow him down. Johnson recorded a career-high 19 tackles against the Colonels, coming off his old career-high of 11 tackles against Missouri. He set a record for tackles by a UK defensive tackle and closed out the night with a sack on the final play of the game.

Austin MacGinnis, hurry back.

Confession: I couldn’t watch Miles Butler kick the extra point at the end of regulation. I can’t be the only one. Speak up, guys. It’s okay.

Stoops said he expects MacGinnis to be back next week.

Josh Forrest and Ryan Flannigan combined for 21 tackles, probably missed that many, too.

Forrest and Flannigan seemed to be in on most of Kentucky’s tackles in the game. They somehow seemed to miss every tackle too. I counted at least six blitzes where one of the two linebackers blew past the line and missed the QB. It got to be very frustrating, until one of them made a big stop on the same drive. They’re both very good, but could be even better with improved tackling.

This was a hell of play by Towles and Bone:

Bone had a good game with seven catches for 85 yards. Nice breakout night for him after a rather quiet first four games.

By show of hands, how many people were dying to put some pads on Boom Williams?

It was gut-wrenching to see Boom on the sideline in sweatpants when the offense was stagnant. The SEC Network didn’t do us any favors by cutting to him often and after failed drives.

Let’s hope Boom learned that lesson by sitting out when his team was desperate for his help.

Celebrate, BBN!

As ugly as it was, the record reads 4-1 going into Auburn.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

41 Comments for Kentucky needed overtime to get past EKU



  1. Katya
    12:35 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    The thing with Butler is, can Foster not placekick? Is Max Strong even WORSE?



  2. BestCaseScenario
    12:36 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    You pull out the squeaker against a lesser team 9 days before a huge game. Sets up perfectly for a big, bounce back game. Take the win and move on. Hopefully we get Boom back moving forward. It’s also probably worth noting that EKU was also playing a very special game for a lost teammate. Got the win. Otherwise I just don’t care about this one.



  3. DoesHeEverClearHisThroat??!!
    12:44 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Would really like to listen to the post game but Matt Jones gurgling mucus for an hour means I have to find other entertainment.



  4. inside info2
    12:48 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Blame the coaches for this one. You can’t let a team like UK expect to win any game during practice week. Stoops needs to take more blame than usual. And how can our offensive line play so good against Mizzou and suck so bad this game?

    And Drew, Towels didn’t play better the 2nd half; his receivers did. They bailed him out. The whole offense didn’t wake up until the final 2 series of regulation.



    • ohio cat
      8:54 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Yes Drew blame the coaches. Players read this stuff and all you wanted to talk about was Mizzo game and hardly mention EKU if at all. Those type of things separate great programs from average ones .Spend one day and pat the players on the back and move on



  5. Ryan
    12:52 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    I think Towles might be my most hated UK player



  6. inside info2
    12:56 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    I wonder what the Ohio State comment sections look like tonight though



    • Andy
      1:19 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      We would have lost this game if we had played at EKU. Ohio State still won on the road.



    • Because...
      1:44 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Why would we have lost at Roy Kidd Stadium? That seems like a random, arbitrary statement.



    • SEC
      8:52 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Well, Indiana is the reigning SEC East champ. Of course, Ohio State would have a tough time.



  7. Matthew hagan
    1:23 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Thats me in the hat😈



    • OldGeezer
      5:28 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Matthew, do you have Tourette’s Syndrome, or was that simply a random nervous tic? Kids these days know nothing about dancing.



    • Courtney Cox
      7:53 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      They must have been playing, “Dancing in the Dark”, and he was impersonating me. I am flattered by the imitation.



  8. The Rest of the story
    1:28 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    How many games have the Cats lost that they deserved to win. Like last year at Florida. UK has a history of games where they totally outplayed the opponent but somehow still lost the game. Tonight the Cats got one they did not deserve. Tonight the Cats turned the tables on a lesser team that outplayed them and lost despite of it. Hats off to EKU, and to Stoops and his staff I hope you learned something. Prepare your team for every game and take no one for granted. This game was on the coaches for lack of preparation and oversight. The players learned how to win while playing bad and now have done it 3 times. Time for the coaches to start doing a better job to get the players ready. Auburn is no sure win by a long shot and the Cats will likely have to win another one they don’t deserve.



    • TheBeggingOfTheStory
      1:47 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      It was called a great week of practice. Preparation was fine. No coach takes any opponent for granted. That’s just dumb. Kids simply sleepwalked through most of the game. Bet that doesn’t happen against Auburn.



    • BigBlueBoom
      6:37 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      The cats have benefited from the best schedule in the history of the SEC! Just like last year, reality will soon kick in. The cats will likely make it to a bowl and ensure Stoops (the most overpaid coach in America) another raise and admiration of a homer fanbase. Meanwhile, all the teams with great coaches will actually improve. We should have hired Petrino!



    • CATandMONKEY
      7:50 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Seriously, puck Fetrino.



  9. 8 god
    3:39 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    I have full confidence that towles will lead us to Thursday night victory because he is some goddamn balls of steel and he steps up when it matters.



  10. TMI
    5:43 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Drew, we would have done fine without knowing about the stain in your shorts. Remember big guy, yellow stain goes in front, brown stain goes in back. 🙂



    • Megan
      9:49 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      What’s happened to the writing here in recent weeks? It’s like the guys have regressed to their high school sense of humor. It’s off-putting.



    • Clorox
      10:45 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      I think now it is pretty evident why Drew has a hard time hooking up with the ladies. Drew might want to practice better hygiene skills, but then Matt may like them that way.



  11. DT in DC
    6:46 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    My husband made me turn the game off after we got done by 2 TDs late in the game because I was screaming and cussing like a I had Tourette’s. I got up this morning and he said, “What was the final score”? So I begrudgingly came here to check the damage. Instead I let out a “You HAVE to be kidding me!” and a huge laugh at the first sentence. I’m glad we got the W, but going to OT to beat EKU is embarrassing even by UK football standards.



    • STOOPS TROOPS
      8:32 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      You’re bad fans – even by UK football fan standards. You missed a great comeback, but it didn’t miss you. I don’t care if it’s a blowout YOU KEEP WATCHING. Smh



    • the pope
      8:54 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      if i can converse with kim davis, know that your curseful tirade is forgiven.



    • DT in DC
      4:49 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      LOL. Yeah, I’m a bad fan. I’ve sat in CWS in freezing rain to see us lose to D2 schools. Things and priorities change when you get old and have an early morning wake up. So thanks for your idiotic judgement.



  12. SinceStollField
    7:58 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Okay, I admit it. I was worried Butler was going to miss the extra point at the end of regulation. Very, very worried. It just seemed like it would be a fitting end to such an uninspired, painful-to-watch effort by the Cats. Good for him to step up and put one down the middle. You could see how relieved he was after he made it.



  13. BluKudzu
    8:04 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    For Eastern Kentucky, the players, coaches and fans, there is nothing more bitter than a loss like this. To have the lead by a seemingly large margin, late in the game, and have a bitter rival team, make you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, will linger in their hearts and minds until the day thy die. I think this victory was perfect payback. I too, would have much rather seen a blowout, but it was not going to happen. The players, media, fans and coaches, by all of their comments prior to this game, gave EKU enough incentive to win this game, add to that the emotions from the tragic loss of a teammate, this could have been a victory for the ages for EKU. It wasn’t. They will have to live with it the rest of their season, careers and life. 4-1. Beats 3-2.



    • No
      8:53 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      I wouldn’t call this a win for the ages or something that’s going to haunt EKU players and staff the rest of their careers. EKU is a program with national championships, a retired hall of fame coach, and current coaches that have won or played in big games. In fact, one of their assistants played and coached for two straight NAIA championships.

      How about you go fly a kite.



    • Megan
      9:56 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      You were doing so well until that last sentence, No. Why aren’t you satisfied to make your point? Why do you have to add a personal attack at the end?



    • lol
      10:50 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      No, this still would have been bigger than them winning a National title in that division. And awesome about that assistant! lol The win last night would have been like a middle school beating a high school team, so yes, it would have been a huge win. Don’t kid yourself.



    • BluKudzu
      12:08 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      For No:
      The fact that your response was a retaliatory in nature, is proof that this one hurt. Nothing personal against you or EKU, but your opportunity for a SIGNIFICANT win was lost. Keep your past DII wins, they are to be proud of on a DII level. To have 3 straight touchdowns scored on you to lose in overtime, up two scores with eight minutes and change, had to hurt. Every player and every coach will always think about what they could have done different to have changed the outcome.
      EKU has an empty stadium today. Maybe a great place for you to visit with some string and a kite while you ponder on what might have been, while flying it.



    • Well
      2:22 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      BluKudzu, EKU isn’t DII, they are DI. Now GFY.



  14. Dano
    8:43 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    <<>>

    I enjoy reading Maggards take on the Cats, but he has been defending this O line all year. There has been nothing impressive about them, with or without Swindell. Nice to see Towles wake up and run in the 4th Q when his protection broke down. Wonder what happened to the 2nd, 3rd and start of the 4th? 10 days to fix a broken line before Auburn. It is no longer “FL and MO have outstanding D’s”. Lafayette and EKU owned us at the line for 5-8 quarters. Has to get better the rest of the way.



  15. Aja
    9:41 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    Any other high school have three kids in the game: Forrest, Harmon and Butler from Paducah Tilghman.



    • Weknowfootball
      12:39 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Lol. Listening to you people you would think EKU had never won a football game. Guess that’s hard for you to understand that while a win last night would be huge, one win dies not a season or a program make, especially against KY. We have had a winning program for decades, believe it’s great.
      From a person who was there for the National Championship runs and the Roy Kdd era, I can tell you one night of fun does not equal years of winning. Get over yourselves, and just so you know, EKU is not DII ( for all you football savvy uk fans, maybe you aren’t as smart as you think you are) and our lives will go on and the sun came up this morning.
      Go EKU!
      Go Auburn!😎



    • chimichanga
      4:09 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Football savvy has exactly nothing to do with knowledge of Division 1AA football. That’s like saying, “You call yourself a film buff, but you’ve never seen Police Academy 4?”



    • It may not
      9:25 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

      tell us how savvy you are with football but it sure does show us what a stupid SOB you are.



  16. RealCatsFan
    9:48 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

    So why is it that Mobley is no longer playing for UK? Kid looked like he would be starting for us the way he played last night.



    • MC from Tiline
      10:07 am October 4, 2015 Permalink

      Haha. Just Mobley? We made all their players look like they could start for us.



  17. Jack
    1:28 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

    I cannot figure out why this site is so desperate to take up for Towles. He’s a complete tool, he is awful, and the only reason his stats looked good is because he threw short passes to Baker who kept getting loose. His winking, his hair, his nickname, and everything else about him just screams “douche”, and he is a awful QB to boot. Patty-ice sounds like something some preppy Louisville fan from The Highlands would do to fit in with their team. It’s time to try something else because patty ice isn’t going to lead us to the promised land, and last night proved it.



  18. Double Mastectomy Survivor
    2:49 pm October 4, 2015 Permalink

    All that pink crap doesn’t cure anything. It’s a waste of
    well-meaning effort, and it’s hideous to look at.

    bcaction.org
    breastcancerfund.org