Cats Roll Past Racers 48-10

Cats start slow, but pull away in second half

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Terry Wilson threw for 163 yards and rushed for 80 more to lead Kentucky to a 48-10 win over Murray State Saturday.

Coming off a 27-16 victory over Florida that ended a 31-game losing streak to the Gators, the Wildcats (3-0) showed no signs of a letdown and overwhelmed the Racers from start to finish.

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Traditionally the Wildcats have struggled against FCS opponents and needed overtime to fend off Ohio Valley Conference member Eastern Kentucky in a 34-27 win in 2015. The task was much easier this time for Kentucky, which outscored the Racers 31-7 in the final two quarters.

Paced by Wilson, the Wildcats used a balanced offense to defeat the Racers, amassing 528 yards of offense, including 285 on the ground. Wilson targeted nine different receivers, mainly Lynn Bowden, Jr., who caught eight passes for 89 yards. Wilson and backup Gunnar Hoak threw for 240 yards and one touchdown.

Benny Snell, Jr. collected 75 yards on 15 carries and added a score. In limited action in the second half, Snell had just four carries as A.J. Rose and Sihiem King collected a bulk of the carries in the second half.

In a surprise trick play, Snell completed a shovel pass to Wilson, who then handed the ball off to Zy’Aire Hughes for a 49-yard score to end the third quarter. Snell’s block downfield created a wide-open path to the end zone for Hughes in his first career touchdown.

Murray avoided the shutout on Gabrie Vicente’s 29-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Racers quarterback Drew Anderson competed 15-of-32 passes for 118 yards. Backup signal caller Preston Rice scored Murray’s lone touchdown with a 21-yard run with 30 seconds remaining.

THE TAKEAWAY

Murray State: In its first two games, Murray ranked No. 12 in the country after forcing five turnovers and scooping up three turnovers, but didn’t have as much luck against the Wildcats, who committed six miscues in their first two contests. Kentucky had two fumbles against the Racers, but both were recovered by the Wildcats.

Kentucky: The Wildcats won their first three games for the second-straight season and the third time in the past eight years. The next three conference games are crucial for the Wildcats, who will host Mississippi State and South Carolina respectively during the next two weeks, before a road contest at Texas A&M on Oct. 6.

PERFECTION

Kentucky improved to 11-0 against the current alignment of the Ohio Valley Conference. Kentucky improved to 2-0 against the Racers in the first meeting between the two schools since 2003. The Wildcats defeated the Racers, 37-6 in the first year of the Rich Brooks era.

HEROES HONORED

All active reserve members of the armed forces, police, firefighters and first responders were honored as part of Heroes Day.

During the national anthem, the United States flag was displayed that covered the field. Coach Mark Stoops walked to the stadium with U.S. Army Specialist Brett Bondurant, who lost both of his legs following an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2011.

UP NEXT

Murray State hosts Tennessee in its Ohio Valley Conference opener.

Kentucky hosts Mississippi State in its first SEC home game.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com