Kentucky Falls at Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Josh Dobbs threw for 297 yards and rushed for 48 yards, amassing four total touchdowns to lead Tennessee to a 50-16 win over Kentucky in UK's final Southeastern Conference game of the year, on a bitterly cold Saturday evening in front of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium.
Kentucky (5-6, 2-6 SEC) concluded its SEC schedule with the loss and will now seek to attain bowl eligibility for the first time since 2010 in two weeks. After a bye week, the Wildcats travel to Louisville on Nov. 29 for a rivalry clash that will conclude the regular season for both schools.
In the loss Saturday, quarterback Patrick Towles was 13-25 and threw for 168 yards with one interception. The sophomore also rushed for 29 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Wide receiver Javess Blue caught six passes for 131 yards. On the game's opening drive, the senior became the 23rd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career receiving yards. Also through the air, sophomore Ryan Timmons had four catches for 28 yards. Blue also recorded his second game with at least 100 yards receiving in 2014 and third of his career.
On the ground, Towles' 29 was a team-best, followed by freshman Mikel Horton, who had two runs for 18 yards. Braylon Heard ran six times for 17 yards, while quarterback Reese Phillips also had 17 yards on the ground.
Defensively, junior linebacker Josh Forrest had 20 tackles, 12 solo. Senior Bud Dupree recorded 15 total tackles, including a sack and two tackles-for-loss. With 22.5 sacks in his career, Dupree has recorded the most sacks among current SEC players.
Redshirt freshman Austin MacGinnis had three field goals, including a school-record 55-yard kick to close out the first half. It was MacGinnis' third field goal of 50 or more yards, joining two other kickers in the NCAA to achieve the feat this season.
The Wildcats got on the board first on the game's opening drive. To cap a 12-play, 77-yard drive, MacGinnis hit his first of three field goals, a 32-yarder, to give Kentucky a 3-0 lead. On the drive, Blue had two catches, including one for 16 yards to give him 1,000 career receiving yards.
The Volunteers answered on the next drive with a touchdown drive to take a 7-3 lead. UT went ahead 14-3 after quarterback Resse Phillips was hit as he threw an interception, which was returned 23 yards for the score.
UK found the endzone with 1:27 left in the first half on a two-yard run by Towles. The touchdown run, Towles' sixth of the season, was set up thanks to a pair of big receptions by Blue. With UK facing 2-19 from its own 15, the senior wide receiver hauled in a 39-yard pass to bring the drive into UT territory. Two plays later, Towles hit Blue for a 30-yard pass to put UK in the red zone at the Tennessee 15. Four plays later, Towles' legs found the goal line.
As time expired on the first half, MacGinnis nailed a 55-yard try. The kick marked the longest field goal in school history, and MacGinnis became one of three kickers in the NCAA to have three or more field goals of 50 or more yards in 2014.
The 8-play, 76-yard drive cut Kentucky's deficit to 20 at 30-10.