Cats rout Cards 56-10 in Governor’s Cup game


Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. (1) celebrates a touchdown during the game against Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

After being embarrassed on its home field last season, the UK football team (9-3) dispatched rival Louisville (2-10) on Saturday night, 56-10.

The Cats didn’t waste time putting the hated Cardinals down, as they scored touchdowns on each of their five drives in the first half. Terry Wilson sliced up the Louisville defense, throwing for 208 yards before halftime and 261 total in the game.

The rivalry didn’t take long to surface. On the opening kickoff to the Cards, the teams got tangled up while tackling kick returner Hassan Hall. They got up and started pushing each other while officials tried to separate them. The fight wasn’t sustained, and the Cards went three-and-out to start the game.

UK star running back Benny Snell Jr. had a solid outing, putting the first points on the board for the Cats, thanks to a seven-yard rush. He finished the game with 100 yards, falling short of Sonny Collins’ all-time school record for rushing yards.

UofL’s lone touchdown of the game came on a 75-yard rush from quarterback Malik Cunningham on the first play of one of their second-quarter drives. The Cats then tied their smallest lead of the game at 14-7 before taking off from the home team. Wilson hit Lynn Bowden for two touchdowns, the second of which had Bowden all alone in the end zone.

In the second half, Cunningham was hit by Calvin Taylor while releasing a pass, and left the field injured. Quarterback Sean McCormack, who isn’t listed on Louisville’s depth chart, took over under center. He finished the game with 15 yards through the air in nearly a half.

In the second half, the Cats put on more of the same. Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, but Wilson found receiver Josh Ali in the first minute of the fourth to put the Cats up by 32.

Wilson continued to make Wildcat history with that pass, as he became the first player since Stephen Johnson against Louisville to pass for 250 yards and rush for 70 in a game. Johnson accomplished the feat in UK’s thrilling 2016 win at Cardinal Stadium, the same stadium where Wilson did it.

A.J. Rose had himself a day after the Cats took complete hold of the game in the fourth quarter, rushing for 112 yards that included a 75-yard touchdown run in garbage time.

The Cats had no notion of letting up, even if the substitutions came into the game. Third string running back Kavosiey Smoke ran in his first career touchdown from 37 yards out to add salt onto Louisville’s wounds.

UK exacted its revenge in the Governor’s Cup battle against its reeling rival and will take the trophy home to Lexington for at least the next year.