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Kentucky Football

Kentucky Falls in Overtime 42-41 to Ole Miss

October 3, 2020
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The Cats welcomed Ole Miss for their home opener in a game that was expected to be a barn burner. It lived up to the hype, going to overtime tied at 35 before the Wildcats lost in heartbreaking fashion off a missed extra point. 

The running game was unstoppable as the Cats racked up 408 yards on the ground. Kentucky boasted three 100-yard rushers with Chris Rodriguez clocking in at 133 yards, Terry Wilson at 129, and AJ Rose at 117. The three accounted for all six Kentucky touchdowns with Wilson leading the way with three. Rodriguez added two scores and Rose one. Wilson also added 151 yards in the air to complement a running game flourished behind a dominant offensive line. 

The Kentucky defense didn’t fare as well, giving up 42 points and 459 yards. Matt Corral threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns as he methodically shredded the Kentucky linebackers and secondary. The Cats defense made a few huge stands, most notably keeping the Rebels out of the endzone for four downs in the third quarter to preserve a seven point lead. It wasn’t enough, however, as the Rebels scored twice more after that and the game went to overtime where a missed extra point by Matt Ruffolo spelled demise for Kentucky.

The Cats didn’t help themselves today, totaling eight penalties for a total of 81 yards. An early turnover in the form of a goal line fumble by AJ Rose was the only giveaway of the game, but a costly one. For the second week in a row, the Wildcats made too many mistakes to come away with a win, beating themselves late in the game. 

 

First Quarter

Ole Miss won the toss and elected to receive, and the race was off. The Rebels went straight down the field in 8 plays and 2:22, thanks in large part to a 31 yard completion from Matt Corral to Jonathan Mingo. The pickups were smaller after that until Jerrion Ealy rushed for 15 yards to the Kentucky 1 yard line, and the Rebels quickly scored. 

Kentucky looked to match the pace as AJ Rose shook loose for 72 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the Kentucky offense, but celebrated early and got caught by the Ole Miss defense at the 3 yard line. The Cats took the ball down to the 1 yard line before Rose tried to stretch the ball across the goal line and fumbled. Ole Miss took over and the Cats came away from the red zone possession with no points.

The Wildcat defense came to play then, giving up just one yard and forcing Ole Miss to punt from the back of their own end zone.

Kentucky took quick advantage of the short field, starting their drive on the Ole Miss 29 yard line and reaching the end zone in four plays. Wilson started the drive off with a 4 yard pickup before Kavosiey Smoke went 19 yards down the sideline to put the Cats on the Ole Miss 6. It took just two plays from there for Wilson to punch it into the end zone himself and even the score at 7.

Ole Miss opened their drive with a false start, getting behind the chains from the beginning. Kentucky took advantage, once again forcing a 3-and-out after a net gain of only one yard. Huge plays by Josh Paschal and Marquan McCall helped stifle the Rebel offense.

Kentucky started on their own 20 yard line and brought AJ Rose back onto the field quickly, handing off to him on the 3rd play of the drive where he ran for an 18 yard gain. Chris Rodriguez wasn’t to be outdone, going for 21 yards of his own on the next play and bringing Kentucky down to the Ole Miss 31 yard line. Terry Wilson went back to the air, connecting with Josh Ali for a 24 yard gain before Chris Rodriguez took over for two plays to push the ball toward the goal line. One 3rd and goal from the 2 yard line AJ Rose came in, taking the wildcat snap again and this time punching it into the end zone to give Kentucky a 14-7 lead.

Ole Miss went to the air and picked on the middle of Kentucky’s defense where the linebackers had a hard time covering Ole Miss’s athletic receivers. The Rebels worked down the field in 10 plays and 3:14, the longest scoring drive to that point in the game. Ole Miss tied it up at 14.

 

Second Quarter

Kentucky opened their first drive of the second quarter with a pass to tight end Keaton Upshaw who wore Chris Oats’ #22 jersey this week. The five yard gain was followed by a four yard pickup by Terry Wilson, but the Cats stalled out there, unable to convert on 3rd down. They punted back to Ole Miss, pinning them deep thanks to Max Duffy’s 51 yard punt.

Ole Miss kept the ball moving for 2:38 thanks to a few completions from Matt Corral to Elijah Moore but couldn’t sustain the drive, eventually stalling out on their own 41 yard line where they punted back to Kentucky.

Terry Wilson connected with Akeem Hayes to open the Kentucky drive, but a holding call on Clevan Thomas killed the drive before it had a chance to get going. The Cats punted after a net loss of one, Duffy booting it for 55 yards this time. 

Ole Miss’s drive started on the ground, and on 3rd and 1 the Rebels were called for a false start that brought up 3rd and 6. Cedrick Dort was called for holding and the Rebels got a new set of downs. They weren’t able to capitalize however, and chose to punt on 4th and 1 from their own 49 yard line.

Kentucky got the ball back with 3:54 on the clock and went to their bread and butter, eating clock with the run game. An early 20 yard run by Terry Wilson came back due to holding by Luke Fortner, but Ole Miss was called for pass interference on the next play which moved the Cats to a new set of downs. They took advantage, going to Chris Rodriguez for two big rushes before Wilson connected with Ali for an 18 yard gain that launched the Cats into Ole Miss territory. The Cats worked their way to the 22 yard line, where Terry Wilson found running room and reached the end zone to give the Cats a 21-14 lead. Ole Miss got the ball back with 0:29 on the clock and ran it out.

 

Third Quarter

Kentucky received the kick to start the second half and took full advantage, going down the field in 4:19. The drive included one pass attempt that was incomplete, with all the work being done on the ground thanks to AJ Rose, Chris Rodriguez, and Terry Wilson. The drive was highlighted by an 18 yard run by Terry Wilson that took the ball across the 50 yard line into Ole Miss territory. Chris Rodriguez got the handoff on 3rd and 1 from the 22 yard line, and took it all the way to the endzone to give Kentucky a 28-14 lead.

Ole Miss answered in lightning speed with their first drive of the 2nd half. Corral opened the drive with a 28 yard completion to Kenny Yeboah, then followed it up with a 15 yard completion to Jonathan Mingo. His next throw went for 8 yards to Elijah Moore, and then he went back to Mingo for 24 yards and the endzone. The drive took just 1:24 and put the Rebels back within one score.

Kentucky ran out of steam on their next possession, starting strong on a 31 yard run by Terry Wilson. Two carries by Chris Rodriguez for nine and 15 yards respectively were followed by another carry by Wilson that went for six, but the offense coouldn’t keep it going after that. A sack and incomplete pass left the Cats with a 4th down from the Ole Miss 31, and Matt Ruffolo’s 49 yard field goal attempt was no good. 

The Ole Miss offense came back out passing and was helped along by a pass interference call against Davonte Robinson. The Rebels then picked up some momentum despite a holding call against them, and a Matt Corral run for 14 yards brought the Rebels to the 2 yard line. A huge goal line stand by the Cats defense denied the Rebels any points on 4 plays and Kentucky took over on their own 2 yard line.

The momentum appeared to have dried up for Kentucky as they failed to pick up a first down, only managing to push the ball out to the 10 yard line before punting 44 yards back to Ole Miss. The Rebels had time for one play before the quarter ended with Corral keeping himself for a pickup of 14 yards.

 

Fourth Quarter

It took Ole Miss just five plays to reach the end zone after starting with a short field. Two long catches by Mingo put the Rebels in the end zone to tie the game at 28 apiece.

Kentucky started to put together a nice drive with runs by Wilson and Rodriguez to get things warmed up. On the fourth play of the drive Wilson connected with Josh Ali for a 17 yard gain to move the Cats across midfield, but the offense dried up then. The Cats picked up just two yards on three plays and went for it on 4th and 8, but Wilson was sacked for a loss of 12, giving Ole Miss another short field.

Ole Miss started on their own 47 yard line with their offense firing on all cylinders. Corral’s completion to Kenny Yeboah went for 41 yards and put the Rebels on the Kentucky 12 yard line. Cedrick Dort was called for pass interference on the next play, moving the ball to the 2 yard line. The Rebels scored to take their first lead since the first quarter after two one-yard runs. 

Kentucky took over, desperately needing to get the offense going. Wilson started going to the air, trying to move the ball down the field. On an early 3rd and 10 Wilson, under pressure, connected with Justin Rigg for a 14 yard gain to keep the Cats’ drive alive. They continued moving down the field  into Ole Miss territory, mostly under the power of Wilson’s arm. Wilson was called for intentional grounding, bringing up a 2nd an 18, and he once again kept the drive alive, hitting Akeem Hayes for a 28 yard completion. The Cats were on the two yard line, and Terry Wilson ran it to the 1 before Chris Rodriguez punched it into the end zone to even the score at 35.

Ole Miss started on their own 25 yard line with 2:04 left. The Rebels tried to run on 1st down, but lost two yards as the Kentucky defense went on attack mode. Boogie Watson got to Corral on 2nd down, backing the Rebels up five more yards. Corral conencted with Moore for 16 yards on 3rd and 17, with Tyrell Ajian coming in for the open-field tackle to save the first down pickup. The Rebels were forced to punt on 4th and 1.

The Cats got the ball back with only 35 seconds left in regulation, and ran the clock out, playing for overtime instead.

 

Overtime

Ole Miss won the coin toss and gave Kentucky the ball first. Chris Rodriguez took the first carry for six yards and followed it up with another nine. On first down Terry Wilson kept the ball and took it off tackle up the right side and into the endzone for a Kentucky touchdown. Matt Ruffolo missed wide right on the extra point, keeping the Cats’ lead to six as Ole Miss took the field.

The Rebels started with a scramble by Matt Corral for five yards, and the Rebels put Plumlee into the game on 2nd down, who picked up five yards and the first down with his feet. Corral’s pass to the endzone was broken up by Kelvin Jospeh who was called for pass interference, and the Rebels moved to the two yard line. On first down DeAndre Square made a huge play, flying into the backfield for a loss of one yard. Matt Corral connected with Elijah Moore in the end zone and the extra point by Ole Miss gave the Rebels a one-point win over the Cats.

 

The Wildcats host a red-hot Mississippi State squad next week that will surely attack the secondary. Kentucky must look to improve in their pass coverage this week.

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Kentucky Falls in Overtime 42-41 to Ole Miss

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