Throughout his Kentucky career, when Lynn Bowden made a request to Mark Stoops, the athlete delivered.
In a 2018 road trip to Missouri, he asked Stoops to let him return a punt. Bowden turned it into a touchdown that sparked an improbable comeback victory. When Terry Wilson and Sawyer Smith suffered injuries, Bowden asked Stoops to let him play quarterback. Record books were rewritten. On his final play as Kentucky’s signal-caller, Bowden had one final request for Coach Stoops.
“Throw a jump ball to Ahmad,” Bowden said on the sideline after Virginia Tech called a timeout. “Literally my words, I was begging ’em.”
Mark Stoops obliged.
“I wanted to let him have the ability to create, so if we have one timeout in our pocket, he could create and scramble for the touchdown.”
Bowden did get creative, but not with his legs.
“It was supposed to go to Ahmad Wagner, but he (Bowden) came up to me before the play and told me to run a post, get open and that’s what I did. He trusted me,” said Ali.
Bowden took one hard, long look at Wagner from the shotgun formation. The Virginia Tech defense did exactly what Bowden expected.
“It’s hard to read every defense, but you know, it’s my way of seeing how they’re going to play Ahmad, how we should go about it if I’m going to throw it to him or not. Every time I look at him, they go 15 yards off of him.” Bowden added: “They don’t want to get dunked on.”
When the cornerback covering Wagner bailed out, Bowden know Ali was going to be there, ready to make a play.
“I knew I was one-on-one,” said Ali. “I trusted my skills and I trusted my training. I already had a move that I wanted to do off the ball before the play started. I knew what I wanted to do, did it and it worked.”
It sure did.
Are you serious?!?! FOR THE WIN! pic.twitter.com/czPVHm7sXb
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) December 31, 2019
Lynn Bowden is special in so many different ways. The incredible athleticism is obvious, but there have been plenty of incredible athletes that have worn a Kentucky football jersey. What makes Lynn Bowden a legend is what he does when the game is on the line: ask for the ball.
“They put it in my hands,” he said. “Glory to God, my O-line — y’all said I couldn’t throw.”