Snell returns to help Kentucky win
Sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr. returned from a rib injury to score the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter as Kentucky survived upset-minded FCS member Eastern Kentucky 27-16 on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.
Senior quarterback Stephen Johnson added a nifty 21-yard touchdown run with 10:09 remaining as the Wildcats (2-0) improved to 9-3 in their last 12 regular-season games — the first time they’ve accomplished that since 2006-07. Johnson was 15-of-22 passing for 224 yards and a touchdown while Snell rushed for 100 of his 103 yards in the second half.
Senior quarterback Tim Boyle was 24 of 35 for 202 yards with a touchdown and interception for the Colonels (0-2), who fell to 0-5 versus Kentucky. Junior running back LJ Scott rushed for a team-high 40 yards and a touchdown while senior wide receiver Ryan Markush caught 10 passes for 98 yards and a score for Eastern Kentucky, which is located 27 miles from Lexington.
The Colonels took a 13-3 lead on Scott’s 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter before Kentucky cut the deficit to 13-10 at halftime when Johnson found junior tight end C.J. Conrad over the middle for a 23-yard score 1:28 prior to the break.
The Wildcats dodged a bullet when Eastern Kentucky freshman running back Alonzo Booth fumbled at the Kentucky 3-yard line on the opening drive of the second half. Snell unleashed a 25-yard touchdown run to make it 17-16 before Johnson’s score gave the Wildcats a 24-16 lead.
Kentucky freshman wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. was ejected for targeting in the first quarter. The Wildcats, who are 10-0 versus the Ohio Valley Conference, improved to 4-26 when trailing at halftime under coach Mark Stoops.