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Kentucky Football: Boyd's Big Night Helps Cats Cruise
September 9, 2012By Jon Hancock of KentuckySports.co
Aaron Boyd's 11 catches for 100 yards were all career highs for him, as he and the Kentucky Wildcats pour it on in the second half en route to a 47-14 victory over the Kent State Golden Flashes.
It was a rough start for the Wildcats. Kent St. was having its way with Kentucky on the ground. Through the first quarter, Kent St. rushed for 96 yards on just nine carries. It was most notable that Kentucky was having problems, when Kent State's, Dri Archer, busted a 47-yard touchdown run to give the Flashes a 7-0 lead.
But in the second quarter, Kentucky's offense got going. Aaron Boyd caught a 14 yard touchdown pass from Maxwell Smith to tie the game up with just 14:04 remaining until half time.
The Cats then got a break when Kent State's kicker, Freddy Cortez, missed a 54 yard field goal, and Kentucky's defense stood their ground. That would be important, because on the very first play from scrimmage, Raymond Sanders took it to the house on just one play--a 67 yard touchdown run to give the Cats a 14-7 lead. The Cats then added a Craig McIntosh field goal just before the half ended, and the Wildcats had some breathing room at 17-7.
It was a struggle in the first half for the defense, no doubt about it. Kent State's Dri Archer and Trayion Durham gashed Kentucky's defense for 112 yards on just 16 carries in the first half. The offense played just well enough to mask the defense's bad play. Through the first half, Aaron Boyd led the team in receptions with seven, followed by LaRod King with three. Both teams had 38 playes, and Kentucky out-gained Kent St. in the first half 280 to 200.
The third quarter was underway and Kent State was on the move again. Trayion Durham scored from 26 yards out to put the Golden Flashes back in business, trailing 17-14.
But, Kentucky quickly responded a quick 11 play 80 yard drive that ended with an 18 yard touchdown pass from Maxwell Smith to Gene McCaskill to make it 24-14
There was a big a turning point in this game. Martavious Neloms laid, and I mean LAID, the wood to Dri Archer, who then fumbled, and the ball was picked up by Miles Simpson, and he ran it down deep into Kent St. territory. But, Kent St held their ground--as Kentucky tried to punch it in four times, all unsuccessful. So with Kent St. getting the ball via turn over on downs, the second play from scrimmage, Dri Archer lost his footing in the endzone causing a safety to make it 26-14.
From that point on, it was all Kentucky. After the punt by Kent St. because of the safety, Jonathan George busted out a 38 yard run for a touchdown to make it a 33-14 ball game.
To the fourth quarter we go and Kentucky continued to not only improve on offense, but on defense as well. They finally shut down Kent State's running attack, and started forcing them to throw the ball. La'Rod King added another touchdown with 13:28 to go, to make it a 40-14 ballgame. The big play of the fourth quarter came from a freshman. DeMarcus Sweat got hit first career reception as a Wildcat, that turned into a 56 yard touchdown reception to make it a 47-14 game. The thing that was so nice to watch was the fact he caught the ball along the sideline, turned on the jets and make a nifty move to score his first career touchdown.
That's all for me, folks. There were some good things to take away from this game, and definitely some bad ones. The good news: The offense continually gets better. With guys like Aaron Boyd, LaRod Kind, Raymond Sanders and others making big plays, Kentucky has a chance to be in a lot of games. They racked up over 530 yards total offense, and I really think they could have not scored 47 against Kent St. last year. The bad news: the defense was a struggle...again. They allowed Kent State to run up and down the field on them. This cannot happen against teams like South Carolina, Georgia and other SEC teams. Otherwise, they will get blown out. The defense allowed Kent State to stay on the field. The Golden Flashes had 80 plays on offense and racked up 409 yards of total offense. The big number that hurt Kentucky the most, was third down. Kent St was 9/18 on third downs. I'll say it again. They cannot allow teams like Kent State to stay on the field. For all Reds, Wildcats and useless ramblings, you can find me on twitter @stieneKYSCO.