Kentucky Scores 45 Unanswered to Topple ULM
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Led by a strong defensive effort that included two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the Kentucky football team scored 45 unanswered points to defeat ULM, 48-14 Saturday afternoon in front of 56,676 fans on a crisp fall day at Commonwealth Stadium.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 5-1 while the Warhawks fell to 3-3. UK, 5-1 for the first time since 2007 and just the seventh time since 1950, has won three consecutive games for the first time since the 2010 season.
UK overcame a slow start to eclipse 45 points for the third time in 2014, the most since 2010. All but three of those points came after Kentucky spotted ULM a 14-3 advantage in the first quarter.
The UK defense, which had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game for the first time since 1986, held the Warhawks to 187 yards passing and just 77 yards on the ground. ULM was forced to punt eight times and fumbled five times, one which Kentucky recovered.
Offensively, quarterback Patrick Towles was 16-of-28 for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Javess Blue caught three passes for 109 yards and two scores, while Blake Bone caught two for one touchdown. Towles' 83-yard touchdown pass to Blue was a career long for the sophomore quarterback.
On the ground, Stanley Williams rushed seven times for 104 yards and one touchdown, a 58-yarder in the third quarter. He also opened the game with a 75-yard kickoff return to set up UK's first score of the game.
Kentucky entered the second quarter trailing 14-3, but after the UK defense forced ULM to punt with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter the Wildcats quickly began to cut away at the deficit. Towles hit Blue for an 83-yard touchdown pass, the longest play of the season for Kentucky, to bring UK within four.
On the very next ULM drive, Josh Forrest returned an interception 29 yards to give UK a 17-14 lead. The pick-six marked the second time in as many weeks the Wildcat defense returned the game-winning score for a touchdown.
On the game's opening drive, Austin MacGinnis hit a 37-yard field goal to give UK a 3-0 lead, the third time in six games in 2014 that Kentucky has scored on its first drive of the contest.
Following Forrest's pick-six that resulted in the go-ahead score, the UK defense forced ULM into a three-and-out, and six plays later, Blake Boone caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Towles to give UK a 24-14 lead. Boone's second touchdown catch of the season with 4:08 left in the half capped a six play, 44-yard drive.
On Kentucky's second drive of the second half, after the UK defense forced ULM into back-to-back three-and-outs, Blue hauled in a 21-yard pass from Towles for the score to give the Wildcats a 31-14 lead. The touchdown catch, Blue's second of the game, capped a four-play, 30-yard drive.
ULM's next drive resulted in another interception for the Wildcat defense. Marcus McWilson, with the 36-yard interception returned for a touchdown, gave UK a 38-14 lead and its fourth defensive score of the season. It marked the first time since 2008 that UK returned two turnovers for touchdowns, while the four defensive touchdowns was also the most since 2008.
Kentucky's final touchdown came with 4:07 left in the third quarter after another one of ULM's seven three-and-outs. On the second play of UK's drive, Williams notched a 58-yard run for his second rushing touchdown of the season.
MacGinnis nailed a 30-yard field goal for UK's final score of the game with 14:10 remaining in the fourth quarter to give UK a 48-14 lead.
Kentucky returns to action Saturday at LSU. The Wildcats and Tigers will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.