UK survives a scare from UL-Lafayette, squeaks by 40-33

By Joshua Huff

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Fourth Quarter

UK’s slide continues as UL-Lafayette’s Torrey Pierce once again slashed through UK’s defense in route to a 26-yard touchdown run. The Ragin’ Cajuns completed the two-point conversion.

The Ragin’ Cajuns scored another rushing touchdown on a 23-yard Jalen Nixon scamper. UL-Lafayette promptly converted the two-point conversion.

With one minute left in the game, Mike Horton was handed the ball at the 12-yard line. And despite having 11 opposing players standing in his way, Horton was not going to go down, as one Ragin’ Cajun discovered when Horton bowled him over in route to the end zone.

UL-Lafayette’s desperation heave was intercepted by Josh Forrest.

UK wins 40-33.

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An uneventful quarter up until the waning moments, both offenses proceeded to combine for two touchdowns and two field goals as the Ragin’ Cajuns closed in on a faltering Cats team.

UK and UL-Lafayette traded field goals before Stanley “Boom” Williams ignited a stagnant UK offense. His 38-yard run pushed him over the 100-yard mark for the third time in his career.

The Ragin’ Cajuns escaped from a deeper deficit when Elijah McGuire fumbled a punt return four minutes into the second half that was recovered by UK. The Cats struggled to breach the six-yard line and had to settle for an Austin MacGinnis field goal.

UL-Lafayette proceeded to march down the field, but a costly false start penalty pushed the Ragin’ Cajuns back from the one to the six-yard line. UK’s Khalid Henderson subsequently sacked Brooks Haack, and UL-Lafayette settled for a field goal.

The Cats went on to score after Williams’ run; Patrick Towles hit receiver Blake Bone for a five-yard touchdown. The Ragin’ Cajuns then struck back with a 56-yard Torrey Pierce run that cut UK’s lead to 16. The run was the longest of Pierce’s career.

MacGinnis missed a 46-yard field goal to end the quarter.

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UK’s Stanley “Boom” Williams figured that the pre-game fireworks were not enough to usher in the new Commonwealth Stadium.

So he decided to make his own.

On UK’s first play from scrimmage, on the first play in the new stadium, Williams took the handoff, burst through the heart of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense and sprinted, untouched into the end zone. The 75-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career.

Williams finished the half with five carries for 78 yards.

The Cats proceeded to score the next two touchdowns before UL-Lafayette was able to get on the board behind quarterback Brooks Haack’s four-yard scramble.

The story of the first half focused on the dominance of UK’s receiving core. Time and again, the Cats sprinted with ease past the helpless Ragin’ Cajuns’ defense. UK quarterback Patrick Towles, spurned on by the quickness on the outside, spent the half launching deep passes that in previous years would have fallen harmlessly to the turf.

Not this year.

Towles spread the ball to six different receivers in the half. Three receivers, Jeff Badet, Garrett Johnson, and Ryan Timmons, averaged more than 30 yards per catch.

Offensively, the difference between the two teams lies in the run game. UL-Lafayette rushed 23 times to UK’s 11. While UL-Lafayette threw it 14 times to UK’s 10.

Stat Line

Kentucky – 304 totals yards, 84 rush yards and 219 pass yards.

Top Performer: J.D. Harmon (forced fumble, interception)

UL-Lafayette – 197 total yards, 84 rush yards and 113 pass yards.

Top Performer: Elijah McGuire