LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The University of Kentucky football team capitalized on two early miscues from UT-Martin, set a single-game school record for rushing yards with 465 and never looked back in Saturday's 50-7 win.
The Wildcats, who improved to 6-5 with the victory, earned bowl eligibility for the fourth season in a row.
"It was really fun to put together a complete game," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "… when you outrush somebody by 470 yards, you have a pretty good opportunity to win."
Kentucky got on the scoreboard with a safety on the game's first play when UT-Martin quarterback John Bachus III mishandled a snap and was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone. Three plays into the Skyhawks' next possession, a snap went over Bachus' head, and UK's Yusuf Corker recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown. A 63-yard touchdown run by A.J. Rose, his fifth and longest of the season, gave the Wildcats a 16-0 lead in just five offensive snaps.
Quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. found the end zone twice in the second quarter for his seventh and eighth rushing scores on the season. With 129 yards rushing against UT-Martin on Saturday, Bowden broke Mike Fannuzi's 45-year-old single-season school record for 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with five. Bowden praised the team's offensive line, saying "all the credit goes to them" and added reaching bowl eligibility "means a lot."
"Everyone doubted us — they said we wouldn't be good," he said. "Our record may not show it, but I think we are pretty damn good."
The Kentucky defense, meanwhile, held the Skyhawks to -12 rushing yards and forced three turnovers in the winning effort.
The Wildcats, who had three quarterbacks combine to complete just two passes for 17 yards in the win, led 29-0 at halftime and kept pouring on the points after the intermission. Christopher Rodriguez Jr., Tyler Markray and Travis Tisdale all scored rushing touchdowns in the second half.
Kentucky will end the regular season by hosting rival Louisville at noon Nov. 30.
According to a report by 247 Sports on Saturday, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops met with Florida State University officials in Cincinnati last week concerning the Seminoles' coaching vacancy and has withdrawn his name from consideration. Stoops served as defensive coordinator for the Seminoles from 2010-12.
"I had a great experience there," Stoops said. "It afforded me the opportunity to be here. This where my heart is. This is where I want to be. So, I'm going to be at Kentucky."
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.