Lynn Bowden rushed for career highs of 284 yards and four touchdowns to lead Kentucky’s school-record 517-yard ground performance that blew out rival Louisville 45-13 on Saturday in the Governor’s Cup showdown.
Bowden, whose feet have led Kentucky’s 5-2 turnaround since he moved from receiver to quarterback, broke the game open with TD runs of 60 and 46 yards in the third quarter for a 31-13 lead. The junior also had a 32-yard run in the fourth along with a 6-yarder in the second as Kentucky (7-5) surpassed 400 yards rushing for the third consecutive game.
“I felt like we controlled the entire game other than the final 20 seconds of the first half,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “But we didn’t flinch. And Lynn said, ‘I got you.’
“He’s truly remarkable in so many ways.”
Bowden’s yardage total was 15 short of Moe Williams’ single-game mark of 299 against South Carolina in September 1995. The Wildcats, meanwhile, have 3,293 yards and broke their single-season rushing mark of 3,124 in 1974. Their 517 yards shattered last week’s previous record of 462 against UT Martin.
Bowden was named the winner of the Howard Schnellenberger Trophy as the game’s most outstanding player.
Chris Rodriguez added a 64-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter and AJ Rose had a 4-yard TD run in the first as the bowl-bound Wildcats cruised to their third consecutive win and third Governor’s Cup win in four years.
Javian Hawkins’ rushed 22 times for 142 yards, including a 56-yard TD just before halftime that brought the Cardinals (7-5) within 17-13. Micale Cunningham tossed a 33-yard TD pass to Tutu Atwell on the game’s opening possession but it was all Kentucky after that.
“We knew they were going to run the football and it was still hard to stop,” first-year coach Scott Satterfield said. “We had guys there and just couldn’t get them down.”
Louisville: The Cardinals’ high-scoring attack came to a screeching halt as they failed to generate little more than a few big plays. Their defensive deficiencies were exposed yet again as Bowden and several other backs had room to run for big plays that put the game out of reach quickly in the second half.
Kentucky: One-dimensional or not, the ground game works for the Wildcats. Though their defense allowed more than 305 yards for the first time in seven games (318), it didn’t matter as they hemmed in the Cardinals nearly all day and recorded six sacks. An excellent way to bid farewell to their seniors.
Louisville and Kentucky await bowl destinations next month.