It’s been more than a month since Lynn Bowden flipped the Belk Bowl upside down and left Bud Foster’s jaw on the turf. You probably still haven’t completely processed Bowden’s awesomeness. Let me help.
The Kentucky wide receiver-turned-quarterback rushed for 233 yards on 34 attempts to average an astound 6.9 yards per carry against Virginia Tech. He had two touchdowns on the ground, including an astonishing 61-yarder in the third quarter. Not even a rip at his facemask could bring him down. Oh, an he threw the game-winning score with 15 seconds to play. In case you need a refresher.
My description and even the highlights don’t quite quantify just how spectacular Bowden was in the Belk Bowl. Insert Banner Society. If you’re unfamiliar with the college football website, it’s the home to some of the wittiest college football junkies on the internet. They specialize in deep dives on random topics and curating excellent lists. Jason Kirk ranked every bowl game’s weirdest game, and what do you know, Lynn Bowden’s Belk Bowl is the Belk Bowl’s best bowl.
In 2019, Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden Jr. became just about the closest possible thing to a one-man team (I suppose he could’ve also taken up punting). In Charlotte, he took that to the extreme, dominating the broadcast with not just 233 yards rushing (a new all-bowls QB record), but also:
- Shirtlessly punching a Virginia Tech lineman in pregame (amid general heated banter between both teams)
- Developing a hangnail on his throwing hand, which led to “ha ha he doesn’t need his throwing hand, because Kentucky never throws” jokes
- Using his other hand to point straight in a defender’s face during one of two TD runs
- Carrying 13 times on Kentucky’s final drive alone
- Finishing with the second most rushing yards in a season ever by a Kentucky player despite starting as a WR who then had to play emergency QB
- Finishing as UK’s leading 2019 receiver despite only playing WR for five games
- Waiting until the world had counted out Hangnail Hand, then using Hangnail Hand to throw the game-winner with 15 seconds to go
- Saying, “Y’all said I couldn’t throw, so over the top it goes”
- Apologizing for punching a big guy while shirtless
A one-man content machine, going out at the top.
As much as we appreciate Lynn Bowden’s all encompassing football powers, you need to know that the BBN is not alone.
Each year Banner Society’s top football podcast, the Shutdown Fullcast, hands out the Bradlee Van Pelt Award. What’s the BVP? Previously named the “People’s Heisman,” it’s given each year to the “most college football” player. You can find a full description here, but essentially it goes to the most fun person in college football.
Spencer Hall went back 20 years and handed out a BVP Award for each season and three Wildcats earned the prestigious honor: Jared Lorenzen, Benny Snell and Lynn Bowden. How Bowden earned the title…
Before he took over, the Wildcats had been 2-3 and falling. But Bowden wasn’t just a parachute. He was a whole airplane. With Bowden running a glorified single-wing, Kentucky finished 5-2. He led the Wildcats with 1,235 yards rushing, remained their leading receiver, and even returned four punts and seven kickoffs. All from a dude who, despite being a four-star with offers from Penn State and Michigan, had his heart set on Kentucky.
Those aren’t the only nice things the fine folks at Banner Society had to say about No. 1. An entire podcast was dedicated to honoring Bowden, the 2019 BVP Award Winner.