After Lynn Bowden led Kentucky to another big win as quarterback, will Mark Stoops and staff stay with him or go back to Sawyer Smith now that he’s finally healthy?
“I think you all can see what’s going on out there,” Stoops said after the game. “It’s pretty hard to take him out. I don’t know.”
“We’ll see. Sawyer is getting better and it’s nice to be able to have the option to go to both guys. Once again, tonight, the conditions made it extremely tough to get him out of there tonight. As you can tell, that’s playing with 12 [players] at times. Even though they were loading up, we were playing zero, he still was able to hit some big runs, and again, our coaches really did a good job. They’ve had a lot of stress on them and they’ve worked exceptionally hard. I’m proud of them.”
With over 250 yards of total offense and two touchdowns, Bowden was Kentucky’s Swiss Army knife in the 29-7 win over Missouri, earning all of the praise from his coach afterwards.
“What can you say about Lynn?” Stoops marveled. “Amazing. Just so tough, so tough. And talented. And really, had the weather been clearer like it was in the first half, I think he would have thrown the ball really well tonight because we had some opportunities because of how dynamic he is in the run game. It creates some opportunities in the pass game.”
Talent is one thing, but toughness is another. Stoops compared Bowden to another Wildcat when it comes to putting it all on the line for his team — physically and emotionally.
“In regards to toughness, I said this a year ago with Josh Allen, and I said this early, just show me somebody that’s better defensively nationwide,” Stoops said. “I’d say the same thing about Lynn. There’s a lot of tough players out there nationally, but I’d like to see one that’s tougher than him. He’s tough as nails and gritty.”
“And it is hard for him. It’s hard emotionally. People do not fully understand what goes into that and what he has to do and the way he directs things and understands the offense. There are so many moving parts, it’s hard for people to totally understand and appreciate what he’s doing because it’s hard, and emotionally, physically, mentally beats you up. So, I think that’s the key for him throughout the week, keeping him level headed where he doesn’t get the frustration, because there’s a lot on him and physically, he’s getting beaten up, and mentally, there’s a lot on him.”
Bowden took several hits tonight — to the point he said he believed Missouri was “trying to take me out for real” — but only had smiles for reporters after the game.
“I’m feeling good for real,” he said. “I’ve got little cuts on my hand, new tattoos.”
Bowden claimed he plays his best games in the rain, and lingered in it after the game was over, slapping hands with fans in the stands to thank them for staying through the downpour.
“I love them and I appreciate their effort,” Bowden said of the BBN. “We drew off their energy. I was celebrating with them a little bit on the sidelines.”
Is he content to stay at quarterback moving forward?
“If I got to, I will,” Bowden said.
What would he say if someone told him he’d be playing quarterback at this stage in his career?
“I’d laugh at them,” he said before having the last laugh himself.