After failing to match Eastern Kentucky’s effort level for the first 53 minutes of Saturday’s game, Kentucky once again overcame adversity to pull out a close win, forcing the Colonels to overtime to take the eventual 34-27 victory.
Coming off a Missouri win that many touted as the biggest of the Stoops era, it’s safe to say the Wildcats overlooked a hungry Eastern Kentucky opponent that showed way more intensity for the majority of Saturday night’s match-up.
After a turnover-plagued first half and failing to answer in the second, Kentucky found itself down to the Colonels 27-13 with just seven minutes to play. The Kentucky offense marched right down the field 75 yards in 2:40 to bring UK within seven after a Jojo Kemp touchdown run.
Kentucky’s defense buckled down and forced EKU to go three-and-out on the next drive, giving the ‘Cats just under five minutes to score and get the game to overtime. But it didn’t come easy.
Down seven with :57 left in regulation, UK faced 4th and goal from the five. Patrick Towles called an audible which was a 50-50 ball to receiver Dorian Baker, that luckily, he caught in the endzone to tie the game and send it to overtime.
“I’m right there staring at the jumbo tron, 57 seconds left and I’m seeing it’s fourth-and-3,” Baker said. “I either catch the ball or we lose and I wasn’t taking losing as an option.”
Kentucky won the toss and took the ball in overtime, scoring a touchdown again from a Towles pass to Baker. UK’s defense stepped up when they needed to, and denied the Colonels a chance at a second overtime.
The game wasn’t pretty, and many have said that Dorian Baker’s catch at the end of regulation saved the program from quite possibly its worst loss in 30 years. Eastern Kentucky was playing in their super bowl while Kentucky was looking ahead to Auburn.
Auburn didn’t look incredibly impressive over the weekend either, as they defeated San Jose State by a score of 35-21 at home. Both Kentucky and Auburn will be off this coming Saturday as they await a huge game in Lexington on Thursday night, Oct. 15 that has already been deemed a sell-out.
- Auburn (3-2, 0-2) at Kentucky (4-1, 2-1)
Thursday, Oct. 15 – 7 p.m.
Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, Ky.