KENTUCKY 49, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 21
Nov. 6, 2010
Commonwealth Stadium; Lexington, Ky.
After a frustrating first half during which Kentucky couldn't quite shake Charleston Southern free, the Wildcats allowed just 102 yards in the second half and rolled, 49-21.
Senior tailback Derrick Locke missed his fourth straight game after suffering a shoulder stinger against Auburn on Oct. 9. Sophomore Donald Russell had 10 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and sophomore CoShik Williams finished with 95 yards and three scores.
Kentucky (5-5, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) won its 19th straight non-conference game, a streak that dates back to 2006. The Cats have two more games to reach bowl eligibility: Nov. 13 against Vanderbilt and Nov. 27 at Tennessee.
"You felt like you had control, but you didn't have control. But when you look at the scoreboard it didn't say it. We felt like just get a stop here and there and don't turn the ball over. We felt like we could score points. But, yeah, there was a time to look up at the scoreboard and say that." -- On being worried when the score was 14-14 late in first half
"I watched (Kentucky) on film and I know (the record has) been disappointing from their standpoint but they're a very good football team. They're just a few plays away from being an upper echelon team. We were very impressed with the way they've been coached and how tough they've played." -- Charleston Southern coach Jay Mills
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
"It's a win. It definitely wasn't the cleanest and we definitely can't play like that next week or everybody will be singing a sad note. As long as you win, you're taking a step. You take it as it comes and at the end of the day it's a win." -- UK defensive end Ricky Lumpkin
5 - Kentucky is now one win away from reaching bowl eligibility for the fifth consecutive season. The Cats will welcome Vanderbilt to Commonwealth Stadium next Saturday, the third time in those five seasons they will have a chance to reach the six-win mark against the Commodores. UK handled the 'Dores to get that victory in both 2006 and 2008, meaning another even numbered season brings a third chance to repeat the feat.
Kentucky was bumbling along for much of the first half, appearing to still be asleep for the 12:30 kickoff until Chris Matthews injected some energy into the team. The senior receiver took a quick slant route from Mike Hartline, shook a tackler, and raced 53 yards for a touchdown to give the Cats a 21-14 lead with three minutes left in the first half. After a quick three-and-out defensively the Cats added a 47-yard pass to La'Rod King that set up a short scoring run by CoShik Williams that pushed the lead to 14.
DID YOU NOTICE?
Randall Cobb's sensational season continued with another impressive day. Although the junior wide receiver did not carry the football a single time out of the Wildcat formation and was rendered mostly inconsequential in the kicking game because Charleston Southern refused to give him return opportunities, he produced two long receptions. Cobb took a short inside screen and weaved 36 yards for a score in the opening minute of the second half and followed that up with a 37-yard catch that set up a short UK scoring run in the fourth quarter. Cobb has now had a hand in UK points being scored in every game this season, including a two-point conversion against Georgia.
Danny Trevathan just continues to shine for a Kentucky defense that has had its ups and downs this season. Trevathan piled up another 13 tackles, raising his season total to 110 in just 10 games, and notched his sixth consecutive double digit tackling effort. The junior linebacker was so good UK coach Joker Phillips responded to a joke about a reporter having a man crush on him by saying, 'I have a man crush on Danny Trevathan.' This kid just keeps getting better each week and plays at a speed unlike any of his teammates.
Third and fourth-string tailbacks Donald Russell and CoShik Williams, respectively, were each able to have big days running the football because Derrick Locke missed his fourth consecutive game with a shoulder stinger and top reserve Raymond Sanders also sat out with an abdominal strain. Also, middle linebacker Ronnie Sneed suffered a stinger in the first quarter and did not return.
The late arriving (or not at all) crowd was greeted with 39 degree temperatures at kickoff with the wind chill sitting at a balmy 36 degree, but that didn't stop Kentucky from getting off to an early lead behind the running of third and fourth string tailbacks Donald Russell and CoShik Williams. Two long touchdown runs by those two were sandwiched around a busted coverage by Winston Guy that helped set up a Charleston Southern touchdown. Total Yards: Kentucky 116; Char. Southern 89
Call it a lack of energy, intensity or whatever but Kentucky being tied with a FCS team that lost 66-7 in its only other game against Division I-A competition with four minutes left in the half is inexcusable. A long touchdown pass from Mike Hartline to Chris Matthews finally seemed to stir the Cats out of their doldrums and a 47-yard pass to La'Rod King set up a second score in a span of 2:20 to help push the edge to two touchdowns at the break. Total Yards: Kentucky 153; Char. Southern 78
The Cats came out of the locker room firing, taking just three plays to get a touchdown after Charleston Southern kicked the ball out of bounds and allowed UK to start at its own 40-yard line. Randall Cobb continued his streak of having a hand in some sort of scoring play for UK in every game with his 36-yard touchdown reception, but the defense allowed a nearly eight-minute long drive in the quarter. Total Yards: Kentucky 107; Char. Southern 71
Just moments into the fourth quarter Kentucky essentially put the game on ice with another long pass to Randall Cobb and subsequent CoShik Williams' touchdown run, his third of the afternoon. Donald Russell later added his second scoring jaunt as the two reserve tailbacks combined for more than 200 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. Total Yards: Kentucky 126; Char. Southern 31
All wins aren't necessarily created equally, unless of course you're a player in the locker room. Kentucky didn't score any style points with its ho-hum victory but it accomplished the main goal of pulling within one win of bowl eligibility with two games left to play. It's been a long six-week stretch for this football team so you can't fault the Cats for breathing a sigh of relief and just putting this one in the rear view and moving forward to the final two games.
Kentucky (5-5, 1-5) gets back to Southeastern Conference play and attempting to reach the seven-win mark when it welcomes Vanderbilt to Commonwealth Stadium at 12:20 p.m. on Nov. 13.