Kentucky Wildcats/Kent State Golden Flashes Live Drive Blog


I’ll be live blogging from the pressbox here at Commonwealth Stadium today.  For those of you that don’t  have the game on TV, check back throughout the evening for drive by drive updates.  Have a question about what’s going on? Leave a comment below.

We’re just over 30 minutes from kickoff and the fans are starting to file in.  There may be 5,000 here right now, but that number is sure to skyrocket by kickoff.  The weather is clear, with a VERY slight breeze and the field is covered by the shadow of the stadium with. Kentucky is wearing the Blue helmets, blue jersey and blue pants. The team looks ready to play and is going through warmups.

Today is “Hero’s day” here at the stadium and the rendition of the national anthem was accompanied by a flag that covered the entire field.  Pretty cool. We’ve got three minutes to game time and Jeremy Jarmon’s intro video just got done playing with some of the LOUDEST fireworks I have ever heard finishing it off.  Kentucky has won the toss and elected to receive.  ITS GAME TIME.

Ray Sanders and Demarcus Sweat back to receive.

Touchback.  Kentucky takes over 1st and ten at the 25.  A start by Aaron Boyd has finally happened!

Two  short runs out of the shotgun by Ray Sanderts and Aaron Boyd catches a nice past, but well short of the first down, Kentucky to punt.  Kent State takes over at the 19.

Kent State comes out of the gate with a dropped pass, a terrible throw into HEAVY traffic, and a short scramble by the quarterback.  Kent State to punt.

Maxwell Smith starts the drive by overshooting LaRod King for what would have been a 66 yard touchdown.  Overthrew him by about 5 feet.  Followed up by a first down catch by Aaron Boyd and a 4 yard catch by Aaron Boyd.  With three catches, Boyd leads the Kentucky receiving corps.  Never thought I’d type that.  Boyd drops a tough pass and Kentucky is going for it on fourth.  McCaskill drops the pass, but is bailed out by a pass interference call.  Sanders dances in the backfield for a loss of four on first down.  He is NOT looking good so far.  King picks up the lost yards on a short pass.  Third down and 10. Once again, Kentucky throws a pass short of the sicks and its 4th and two.  Kentucky goes for it and Morgan Newton is SWALLOWED in the backfield.  Newton just can’t catch a break.

Anthony Davis is introduced and the silent stadium ERUPTS.  Typical UK LOL

Kent State attempts a jet sweep that is stopped for a gain of two on first down.  Kent State uses a quick formation change to confuse Kentucky’s defense and former UK recruit Trayion Durham picks up 13 on a dive up the middle.  Bud Dupree takes down the receiver in the backfield on the next play for a loss of two. An ill-advised pass to the flats is stopped for no gain.  fourth down and eight.  Kent State to punt. Touchback.  UK takes over at the 20.

E.J. Fields and Ray Sanders both take screens for first downs.  Smith misses an open King on the next play. On second and ten from the forty, Smith hits King for a 23 yard pickup for a first down.  Smith takes off for a five yard gain on the next play.  A short run by George is stopped and a bubble screen to Demarcus Sweat is dropped.  McIntosh misses a 45 yard field goal and Kentucky gives Kent State the ball back on the 28 with just under 4 minutes to play in the first.

On first down, Durham picks up nine yards on a draw that catches UK sleeping.  Man, this kid would have looked good in blue.  Durham is stopped on second down, but picks up the first out of the Maryland I on third down.  Neloms makes the tackle, but is down on the field.  Durham brought some power with him and Neloms took the brunt of it.  He jumps up quickly and walks off the field.  True freshman walk-on JD Harmon is in at corner.  Kent State is running all over Kentucky and the quarterback picks up 15 on the scramble. Dri Archer takes the ball 47 yards for a touchdown on the following play.  Kentucky CAN NOT stop the run.  This could get ugly if the defense doesn’t get it together.  Rick Minter is surprisingly calm on the sideline though.  Sweat and Sanders back to return. Kent State kicks the ball through the endzone, UK takes over at the 25.

The Kentucky offense comes out swinging and Demarco Robinson picks up a first down right away.  The following play, Smith overshoots a wide open Boyd.  Boyd catches a six yard pass on the following play and UK has a 3rd down and 4.  Boyd catches a poorly thrown ball for a first down.  UK lines up quickly and Ray Sanders picks up 23 behind a monster block by Aaron Boyd.  A fun by Sanders for no gain is followed by a nice grab by Tyler Robinson in heavy traffic for a pickup of nine.  It’s 3rd and 1 as the first quarter ends.

Thoughts on the 1st quarter:

The offense is clicking pretty well and looks good so far outside of about three bad plays.  The defense cannot stop the run and is getting gashed by Kent State at will.  Minter has his work cut out for him.  There’s no doubt that Aaron Boyd has been the player of the quarter.  Never thought I’d type hat either.

Second quarter:

Two short runs by Jon George are followed by a touchdown by Aaron Boyd.  You just cant make this stuff up.  The guy has 6 catches already.

A so-so kickoff is returned to the 17 yard line by Dri Archer for KSU.  Ray Sanders on the tackle.

Kent State is running the ball down Kentucky’s throat again, but Dakotah Tyler makes Archer pay for their first down on a decapitating hit.  Durham continues to be a load and is running straight through the Kentucky defense. Another first down.  Durham carries the ball into a sea of blue jerseys and still picks up three yards.  Unbelievable.  Adeyemi takes a screen for a first down, and JD Harmon loses his receiver on the next play.  Its an incompletion, but a better thrown ball is six points for KSU.  Harmon needs to grow up quick.  Almost on que, Harmon breaks up a third down pass.  Kent State’s field goal attempt clangs off the crossbar. Kentucky takes over on the 33.

During the break after the missed field goal, word going around the press box is that Florida State’s game against Savannah State will have a running clock in the second half.  48-0 is the word.  OUCH!

Ray Sanders opens up the drive with a 67 yard touchdown run off the backside of Kentucky’s Kevin Mitchell (the right tackle).  There is a hole there that you could literally drive a semi truck through.  Sanders was run down around the ten yard line, but breaks a tackle and drags a man into the endzone for the longest run of his career and a UK touchdown!

Kentucky kicks the ball off to Archer who takes it from deep in the endzone for a  big return out 41 yards.  A late hit by Fred Tiller adds 15 to the end of the play.

The Kent State drive starts with a false start, followed by Durham being engulfed by Donte Rumph and Christian Coleman. A 7 yard pass makes it 3rd and 7 at the UK 41.  Keith (KSU QB) is tripped up by Rumph for a sack, and Kent State will punt on 4th and 11.  Robinson deep to return. Fair catch at the 14.

Smith attempts to dump the ball off to Sanders to start the drive and is hit hard.  Sanders drops the pass.  The following play, Smith passes to a wide open Daryl Collins who isn’t even looking for another incompletion.  A five yard pickup by Smith to Shields, Kentucky punts.  Three and out.  Foster booms a 52 yard punt and Kentucky covers well.  KSU gets about three on the return.

Durham picks up a short run, and Kent State completes a pass to former Cat Eric Adeyemi for a first down.  Dri Archer picks up another first down on the ensuing play.  After a big stop of Durham on first down, Kent State calls a timeout.  It will be 2nd and 11 when play resumes.  Out of the timeout, Kent State dumps the ball off to Durham for a six yard pickup.  The Golden Flashes are really clicking on the short passes.  On third and five, the same exact play to the opposite side of the field picks up ten yards.  Neloms misses an easy tackle in the flats on the next play and Acher picks up nine on ANOTHER pass to the flats.  Pressure from Collins Ukwu on the following play forces Keith to throw the ball away.  That makes it 3rd and 1 from the UK 14 yard line.  Kent State calls a timeout just as the crowd wakes up.

Speaking of the crowd, TONS of empty seats in both the upper and lower arena.  Endzones are particularly scarce.

Out of the time out, Refs miss an obvious hold call, but UK pressure forces Keith to throw the ball away.  Cortez misses a gimme field goal and Kentucky will take over at the 20.

With 0:47 seconds left in the half, Kentucky throws a screen to Jonathan George and he is turned upside down and flipped twice on a HUGE hit, but jumps up.  KSU’s Roosevelt Nix is helped off the field.  On the following play, Maxwell Smith is sacked for a loss of six.  Timeout UK. 3rd and 10 from the 20 when play resumes.

Aaron Boyd makes a circus catch on the sideline over two defenders for a huge first down.  Kent State is challenging the catch. If it stands, it’ll be first and ten for Kentucky at their own 41.  If not, it will be 4th and 10 from the UK 20.  This is as close of a call as I’ve seen and you have to think the ruling on the field will stand.  As expected, the challenge is met with a chorus of boos from the stands.

Ruling on the field stands!

Out of Kent State’s timout, Kentucky runs a screen to Jonathan George and he takes it for 26 yards down to the Kent State 33!  1st and 10.  Smith dumps off to King for a 3 yard game and McIntosh will come on for the field goal.  His 47 yard attempt is good, and Kentucky heads into halftime up 17 to 7.

Word just came in the pressbox that Florida State/Savannah State just went final at 55-0, and was called due to weather.  The bloodbath is over early.

Thoughts on the second quarter:

Kentucky’s defense came alive and stepped up against the run.  The offense is looking stronger and stronger as the game progresses.  The game could be in hand quickly if UK can pout another score on the board.

 Third Quarter

Kent State comes out of the gate swinging and picks up a quick first down.  Durham drags tacklers for a 9 yard pickup and its starting to look like the ground game is picking up steam again.  Keith picks up another first down the following play on a designed QB run. On the following play, Archer picks up 15 on ANOTHER first down run. A four yard bubble screen picks up four, and Kent state tries the same play again on the next down. UK stops it for no gain this time.  It’s third and 6 at the UK 26. Durham takes the ball 26 yards for the touchdown and isn’t touched until he crosses the goal line.  Touchdown Kent State and the extra point is good.  Kentucky 17, Kent State 14.

Kent State answers quickly out of halftime and it appears that Kentucky’s defense is incapable of stopping the Kent State run.

Kentucky opens with a shotgun counter to Ray Sanders, where he follows a great Ronnie Shields block for a pickup of six.  The following play, Smith misses a wide open Collins.  Smith quickly bounces back with a big first down pass to, who else, Aaron Boyd, and then a nine yard pickup to McCaskill.  A bubble screen to Boyd picks up the first down.  The following play, Smith delivers a BULLET to Sheilds for another first down.  Sanders can’t find any room on the next play and slips down for a two-yard gain.  Another bubble screen to EJ Fields picks up 7 and gives UK a 3rd down and one on the Kent State 20.  Smith carries it himself for the first down.  George is stopped for no gain on first down. On the next play, Smith hits Gene McCaskill in the endzone for a wide open touchdown.  The pass wasn’t great, but McCaskill makes a circus catch in the endzone to bail him out.  These are the types of catches that the receivers COULDN’T make last year.  That makes it 24-17 UK with 7:06 left in the third.  It’s looking like this might be a shootout.

Kent State attempts to run the option on their first play from scrimmage and Martavius Neloms OBLITERATES the running back forcing a fumble.  Miles Simpson recovers for UK and runs the ball 9 yards to the Kent State 7!

Sanders picks up some tough yards on first down to make it 2nd and 1, but is stopped short of the endzone for a 3rd and 1.  DyShawn Mobley comes in and is stopped at the one again, making it fourth and 1.  Kentucky is going for it on fourth down.  Mobley is stopped at the 1 again.  Kentucky turns the ball over on downs.

Kent State takes over at their own one after UK fails to capitalize on the turnover. Will the Cats allow another 99 yard drive this week?

NOT THIS TIME!!!! Archer slips in the endzone and gives up the safety just before Mister Cobble arrived to take him down.  That makes it UK 26-Kent State 14.  The Golden Flashes line up to kick off.

Demarco Robinson returns the ball to the 43 yard line.

With great field position, Kentucky plays it safe and runs George up the middle on a shotgun counter for a pickup of six.  A bubble screen to Boyd picks up the first down.  Another bubble screen, to Robinson this time, picks up some quick yards and then George bursts up the middle of the field for a huge touchdown run!  He scampers 38 yards (career long) for a touchdown, evading tacklers the entire time.  The crowd is still eerily quiet and has thinned out considerably. The upper deck across from the pressbox is maybe 30% full now.

McIntosh’s kick is returned to the 19 yard line.  Kent State takes the field down 33-14.

Kentucky’s defense swarms Durham on first down.  Durden is taken down on the following play after another one yard pickup.  The defense has found new life!  Kent State is too far down to rely on the run and Bud Dupree drops Keith at the 16 to make it 4th and 13.  Kent State to punt.

Kent State’s line drive punt is returned by Robinson and he looks like he’s going to break it…until he runs into Tyler Brause.  On first down, Smith throws a frozen rope to King for a 28 yard pickup to the Kent State 17.  The catch is under review.  The crowd boos, but this one is coming back.  LaRod King is clearly out of bounds. Yep, Kentucky’s offense is walking back before the announcement is even made, it’s coming back.  Official confirms that the ruling is overturned to a chorus of boos, despite this being the easiest call ever made.  King’s entire foot was out before he made the catch, good call.

A short pass to King is elongated as Aaron Boyd demolishes a defender trying to tackle him.  HUGE block by Boyd.  This guy is having the game of his life and is unquestionably the most complete receiver in this game.  That’s second and four on the Kent State 28 as the third quarter comes to a close.

Thoughts on the third quarter:

After a slow start, the Kentucky defense has come alive and are playing with more energy than they’ve shown in a game and a half this year.  The Kentucky offense is picking the Kent State defense apart at will and is driving to put the game away.

Fourth Quarter

The fourth quarter kicks off with  a screen to Aaron Boyd to pick up a couple of yards and makes it 3rd and 1.  Kent State jumps offsides to give Kentucky the first down.  An 8 yard rush up the gut by Sanders is followed by a WIDE OPEN fade to LaRod King for a touchdown! King must have jumped 8 feet in the air to get the lob from Smith.   McIntosh’s extra point is good.

The score is Kentucky40, Kent State 14 and the stands are really emptying now.

Kentucky’s kickoff sails back into the endzone is brought out by Adeyemi to the 25 yard line., where the Golden Flashes will start the drive.

Kentucky has put its subs in and the only starter left on defense is Ashely Lowery at safety.  Almost on que, Lowery gets a pass interference penalty.  Durham picks up 8 on the next play, 2nd and 2.  Another dump to Durham in the flats picks up the first for KSU.  The Golden flashes pick up a big pass on the next play, but a facemask by one of the offensive linemen brings them back 15 instead. A couple of incompletions makes it 3rd and 24. A wide open Kent State receiver picks up 14 yards on first down, and Kent State will attempt to get the first on 4th and 10.  On fourth down, Kentucky’s rush overwhelms the Kent State offensive line and Simpson notches the sack.  1st and 10 UK from their own 44.

Smith comes back in as quarterback and it looks like SEVERAL starters have been pulled. LeGree, Sweat, Mobley, and Swindle are all out there playing as true freshmen.

Demarcus Sweat shows his ability on the first play of the drive and takes the bubble screen 56 yards for a touchdown, shaking tacklers the whole way. After Sweat takes his first career pass for a touchdown, UK is ahead 47-14.

All the starters are out on defense.  Daron Blaylock, JD Harmon, Fred Tiller, Khalid Henderson, Dakotah Tyler, Kory Brown, Mike Douglas, Travaughn Paschal, Farrington Hugenin, Christian Coleman and Jabari Johnson are all in.

Kent State picks up a big first down with a pass over the middle.  Christian Coleman breaks up the pass on the next play, and Keith throws the ball into the turf following the deflection.  3rd and 10.  Keith hits Boyle for a 34 yard pass where Dakotah Tyler lays a big hit on Boyle, but he keeps his feet and Tiller drags him down on the 8 to save the touchdown. An incompletion follows and its 2nd and 8.  Daron Blaylock has a pick-six hit him right hin the hands, but cant reel it in.  That makes it 3rd and goal from the 8. Another swing pass by Kent State gets the ball down to the 2, but Kent State can’t capitalize and throws incomplete on fourth down.

Ladies and gentlemen, Jalen Whitlow has entered the game!

WTF?  Whitlow is playing quarterback and Morgan Newton is in there at tight end? And running back on the next play.  A jumbled mess on three straight plays gives UK a three-and-out and Foster punts the ball fifty yards.

It will be first and ten on the KSU 41 yard line.

Kent State comes out of the gate with yet another swing pass.  Tiller lays his second late hit and gives an additional 15 yards to the golden flashes.  Kent State picks up a quick first down and appears to be trying to save some face on the scoreboard.  All of their starters are still in.  Dakotah Tyler runs down what should have been a sure touchdown, then drops an interception in the endzone. Kent State turns the ball over on downs.

Mobley gashes the defense for 9 yards. and then picks up the extra ground for the first down.

Word circling the pressbox is that Arkansas and UL Monroe have gone into overtime!?!?

The clock runs out and Kentucky defeats Kent State 47-14.

I’ll have notes from the post-game press conference later.  Thanks for enjoying the game with us here at the WBN!