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Kentucky Opens Season with 38-24 Victory over Toledo

Kentucky continued their winning ways by opening the 2019 season with a 38-24 victory over Toledo at Kroger Field. It was not a season-opening MACtion blow out, but the Cats remained in control for most of the game.

The Rockets were the first to strike, racing out to a 7-0 lead with a seven-play 63-yard touchdown drive in the opening three minutes of action. After a UK three-and-out, the Kroger Field crowd was uneasy. That feeling did not last for long.

With proficient passing from Wilson and contributions from all three running backs, on the following drive Kentucky marched 97 yards down the field and into the end zone. Justin Rigg recorded the first score by recovering a Chris Rodriguez fumble.

Kentucky did not relinquish the momentum again until an unusual second half sequence trimmed the UK lead to only seven. After Toledo recovered a Lynn Bowden fumble deep in their own territory, Chris Oats was called for a targeting foul at the end of a long run by quarterback Mitchell Guadagni, setting up a Toledo filed goal.

A quick three-and-out later, the Cats were against the ropes. In Terry Wilson’s time to shine, he threw two poor passes before he found his rhythm to spark Kentucky to a 92-yard scoring drive. Bowden and Allen Dailey had a pair of impressive third down receptions before Kavosiey Smoke exploded for a 40-yard touchdown run.

Toledo’s final chance to mount a comeback was taken away by DeAndre Square. The sophomore linebacker tipped a pass into the air to reel in a contested interception. The play put the Cats in scoring position to end the game with a bang. Square led all tacklers with 11. Kentucky’s MVP also recorded 1.5 tackles for loss a half sack.

Kentucky’s season-opener was filled with lows — three fumbles and 3-of-11 on third down — along with plenty of highs — Wilson completed 73 percent of his passes to eight different receivers — to build on before the Florida Gators roll into Lexington in two weeks.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

47 Comments for Kentucky Opens Season with 38-24 Victory over Toledo

  1. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:27 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    As expected we struggled in the first half however the entire team progressed in the second half. Wilson and Rodriguez have some serious issues to work on. Everytime he throws those balls high he puts our receivers at risk of injury so I really hope he can fix that next week.

  2. notFromhere
    3:28 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Still horrible officiating. Is it ever going to change? Killing this game.

    Why was Wilson still in the game up 21pts and under 5min left in the game?

  3. notFromhere
    3:29 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Great plays by both offense and defense, but some bad plays here and there, too. All coachable and correctable, not being beaten by lack of talent

  4. makeitstop
    3:29 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    We do have a game before that u know?

  5. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:30 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I think Wilson’s reasoning maybe he’s trying not to get called Turnover Terry by half the overbearing people on here.

    • haha
      4:45 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Stop giving him excuses. He’s garbage. Period. How many wide open receivers did he miss on our last scoring drive when smoke ran it in from 40 yards out? Like 4? He’s terrible.

    • bailey000
      5:09 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      He was 73% on the day. Wonder what would make someone like yourself happy? Threw for like 250. Couple touchdowns. What do u want. Very few mistakes. Well done Terry. These guys are idiots.

    • haha
      5:19 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      You’re a moron

    • ryan1723
      5:34 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Probably the same person that complained about Stephen Johnson being worse than Drew Barker. It’s almost like Stephen and Terry have something in common…

  6. Larkin123
    3:33 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder how many points they would have given up if their QB had not gotten injured… A little concerned….

    • Cletis75
      3:51 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Probably not much more. The first series of the season isn’t much to base data off of. Offenses usually start faster than defenses. The offense always sets the tone and the defense has to adjust to their rythym. Look at all great defenses, they always get better when they build trust that everyone else will do their own job, and each player can then concentrate on their own job.

    • grammarpoliceUK
      9:35 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      He was a good QB. But our defense really began to tighten up in the second half. Looked like a totally different team!

  7. TOMCATS1990
    3:33 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Great Win but plenty to work on also.

  8. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    3:35 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I’ll take that for an opener. Struggled the first half, make some adjustments during halftime and come out and made winning plays in the second half of the game. That last drive from Toledo was awful officiating they held their whistles and they got away with a few holds and a off pass interference. Go Cats!

  9. 4everUKblue
    3:41 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Some of our fans are saying Terry is hands down the worst QB in the country. He made several mistakes but he still ended up with 19 of 26 for 246 yds and two TD’s.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      3:45 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      That’s dumb, he’s no where near the worst but he does need to work on putting his receivers in better position by being more accurate. At least he didn’t turn the ball over that’s an improvement.

    • Alex90
      3:58 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      I think he has several good options after today’s game and they should get more confident in each other throughout the year

    • makeitstop
      3:51 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Did u watch the game or just read the box score? Receivers made GREAT catches including the last TD and huge catch by Bowden to extend a drive. Did u see him miss Ali wide open? Bounce a pass? Almost throw two INT that could’ve flipped the score? Miss RPO reads and take losses, when holes were there, throw a lateral pass so poorly it could’ve cost a TD? Did u see that? Fortunately Stoops and Gran won’t be ok w that. But we’re not whining if we say the same thing the coaches say. If he hits those passes we get snaps for the #2’s. U think that might help later in the season?

    • bailey000
      5:14 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Wasn’t a missed RPO it was a missed block. The ONE POSSIBLE int was solely on the WR. If Wagner cuts his route like he’s supposed to makes the catch. No one is making excuses. Terry looked good on game one. Couple mistakes i.e. backward pass, but I think Terry’s play was encouraging.

    • haha
      5:21 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Yea he looked real good…bhaaahaha. Did you see how many throws he missed when he wasn’t throwing 1 yard passes???????????? Remember the 8 yard throw he threw 4 yards? Remember the wide open corner right after that???WIDE OPEN??? You’re literally an idiot if you just look at his stats and think he played well.

    • makeitstop
      3:52 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Truth not responding to u – and ur right ball security seemed better but in fairness he wasn’t really under pressure much. Florida will change that. He better be ready.

    • 4everUKblue
      4:05 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      I did watch the game. Like I said, he made several mistakes and he does need some work but he is nowhere near the worst. He made some pretty good throws too.

    • haha
      4:43 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Yea….if you watched the game like you say you did, you’re blind. He’s not the worst Qb in the country but as far as D1 is concerned he’s terrible. Mix that with terrible Eddie gran and we have a deadly combo. 13 of his 19 completions were 1 yard or behind the line throws and the other two he was saved by WRs on his under throws. Had multiple wide open receivers and missed them all. He’s garbage…still. Stop looking at the stat line as it is not an indication of how he throws since all the completions are at the line of scrimmage.

    • makeitstop
      4:46 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      He’s SUPPOSED to make some good throws! But Oliver and Ali and Bowden totally bailed him out. SEC defenders are far better and we won’t get those consistently. I’ll give u that he hit a couple in stride, but that’s what he should do, and he had Epps for an easy throw and held it too long making it a circus catch. It’s his decision making. He’s a second late. Misses reads. I hv no answer – but I can tell u Gran and Hinshaw are saying the same thing. Maybe he’ll learn. Hope springs eternal.

    • makeitstop
      4:53 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Stoops: “I forget what possession it was when Terry threw the ball backwards. Man, we get a good first gain, positive yards on first down, we go throw it on second down and we throw it backwards for ten yards, so it’s third and 14. No one wants to live in that. I think that was a big piece of it.” So it’s not “some fans” it’s “anyone who knows football.” Kid needs to improve fast.

  10. makeitstop
    3:44 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I think Stoops called it right: lot of work to do. Echols is good. He’s a bright spot we weren’t sure of, and the receivers were great. If they dropped a ball, I don’t remember it. Everyone else played like we expected. The backs are good. Ball security was sloppy. Secondary was shaky but got better (against the 2d team QB) but our QB play is unnerving. Numbers look good bc the line is as good as advertised but the receivers bailed him out a lot. I had high hopes based on what we were hearing but apart from being more calm back there, not sure I saw the improvement.

    • haha
      4:41 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      I knew nothing had improved after I read about Lynn Bowden taking snaps at QB. Terry and gran are both terrible. He’s made zero improvements. The best throw of his career was called back on the face mask by Logan. I see NO progression.

  11. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:48 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    MSST vs UL-Lafayette makes me feel encouraged about that game.

    • makeitstop
      3:53 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      lol true and Ole Miss. As we used to say in education stats “thank God for Mississippi!”

    • makeitstop
      3:54 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      And I’m always for the SEC but watching Ga State lead makes me smile…

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      4:11 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      To bad we don’t play Ole Miss and Bama is uncharacteristically not scoring.

    • makeitstop
      4:38 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Yep Arkansas doesn’t look too good either. Rather hv Ole Miss but neither are very good. I guess everyone is looking a little rough to start the season.

  12. dave1964
    3:58 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Many poorly thrown balls bailed out by receivers with amazing catches. To many balls on the ground lost, have to clean up a lot but I will take it for a season opener. Some of these calls by refs ?

    • 4everUKblue
      4:06 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed on all counts.

    • makeitstop
      4:28 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      The face mask call at end was total BS – they reacted to the helmet coming off. But the interference calls and non calls I thought were really good. I was afraid we’d draw some and we didn’t and I swear I’ve never seen anyone get as many PI calls as Wagner!!

  13. RealCatsFan
    4:24 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I thought TW had some nice throws, but he also certainly had some bad ones too. But my biggest disappointment with him is his decision making with the option. Last year against UF, he had some great runs, but after the midpoint of the season, he has looked indecisive and mechanical with his runs. Hell, several times he bounced off teammates and fell down. He really needs to improve on that to add some deception to his game. The play the Toledo QB made for their second score is a textbook example of what Terry should be doing.

    • makeitstop
      4:34 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Completely agree. Any contact at all, he’s down, and man he makes some bad RPO calls. Better on some over the middle passes, and check downs under coverage but the kid just isn’t accurate. I guess it’s fair to say he’s better but our season will he measured by how much he improves bc the 7 win prognosis was based on him being in the bottom 20%. If he’s better than that, we can win 2-3 more games than we are supposed to. Didn’t see it today.

  14. haha
    4:50 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    If we had any other QB besides terry last year we lose one game. Think about that.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:20 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      I guess you didn’t see Hoak. If you think he’s better that Terry you really are blind.

    • 4everUKblue
      5:20 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      Is this your new handle Slater?

    • haha
      5:23 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      You’re right. Remember when our defense held Missouri to zero first down in the second half and we won at the last second? Remember in our last 5 sec games when we averaged 16 points? Nothing to do with our QB ?????? just dumb man…literally dumb

    • ryan1723
      5:37 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      You meant to say any other white QB in the nation.

  15. RCT3
    5:14 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Honestly we could’ve played worse. Other than terry’s decision making we didn’t really play that bad. First half was sloppy but after halftime we seemed to open up more and started to show some consistency. All three backs seemed comfortable aside from a few runs here and there. Receivers made some great catches on terrible throws. Other than the secondary the defense seemed to play decent the entire game. I think with time they’ll reach their full potential. And I’ll give Toledo credit, they’re not a terrible football team. I mean yeah they’re MAC but c’mon they went seven and five last year. Glad we get another game before Florida because we’re gonna need it

  16. runningunnin.454
    5:31 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Bama not looking great against Dook; will they cover 33.5 line? First games are first games; hell, Minnesota barely beat an FCS team.
    I said Cats by 14, so I’ll take it.

    • grammarpoliceUK
      9:44 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. First game of the year looks terrible on most teams, even in the NFL.

  17. east-ky-boy
    5:46 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Thats crazy! He’s not the worst. He’s not good for sure but he’s not the worst lol. I hate our style of play but whatever wins I guess.

  18. Middy
    8:15 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Yeah… because every one but Terry plays perfectly. People who have a problem with his performance surely have all the answers and everything they touch works out perfectly.