Football Regular-Season Wrapup Notes

Dec. 1, 2008

  • Kentucky finished the regular season with a 6-6 overall record, 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference.
  • Kentucky went 4-0 in non-conference action, including a second-consecutive victory over in-state rival Louisville.
  • Kentucky has a 13-game non-conference win streak. It is the third-longest active streak in the nation, behind Boston College (21) and Louisiana State (18).
  • Kentucky’s 13-game non-conference win streak is UK’s longest since a 17-game stretch from 1954-60.
  • UK has earned at least six wins in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 1954-55-56.
  • With six victories this season, Rich Brooks has now won 31 games as head coach of the Wildcats. He moved into sixth place on the UK career win list and is only one behind Harry Gamage (32) in fifth place.
  • Kentucky tied the biggest-fourth quarter comeback in school history in the 21-20 win over Arkansas. Trailing 20-7, Mike Hartline hit Randall Cobb with a pair of touchdown passes in the final 4:15 to win the game. UK also overcame a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit in the 2004 win over Vanderbilt.
  • Kentucky’s offense overcame huge challenges in posting six wins.
    • The UK offense sustained massive graduation losses from last season in replacing QB Andre’ Woodson, RB Rafael Little, WR Keenan Burton, WR Steve Johnson, TE Jacob Tamme and two starters in the offensive line.
    • The team’s most experienced quarterback, Curtis Pulley, was dismissed from the team on the first day of fall practice.
    • During the season, the team’s leading wide receiver (Dicky Lyons), the leading rusher (Derrick Locke) and a starting offensive guard (Jess Beets) were lost to season-ending injuries.
    • By the end of the season, the starting offense featured three freshmen (QB Randall Cobb, WR Gene McCaskill, RG Jake Lanefski) and two players who are in their first season at new positions – former cornerback E.J. Adams at wide receiver and former fullback Maurice Grinter at tight end.
    • Kentucky’s original starting offensive line – Garry Williams, Zipp Duncan, Jorge Gonzalez, Jess Beets and Justin Jeffries – started together for only three games, all of which were Wildcat wins.
  • Kentucky set the school record for average attendance, averaging 69,434 per game to break the previous record of 68,824 set a year ago.
  • UK currently ranks 23rd in the nation in average attendance. UK has ranked in the nation’s top 25 in attendance in nine of the last 10 years.

Notes on the Upcoming Bowl Game

  • Kentucky has qualified to play in a bowl game which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 7.
  • It will be Kentucky’s third-consecutive bowl game. The only other time in school history that the Wildcats went to three straight bowls was following the 1949-50-51 seasons.
  • Kentucky will be one of only five SEC teams to play in bowl games following the 2006-08 seasons, along with Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU.
  • After winning the 2006 and 2007 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowls, UK has the opportunity to win bowl games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.

Team Statistical Notes

  • Kentucky ranks in the nation’s top 20 in these categories:
    • Fourth in kickoff returns, averaging 25.8 per return
    • Fifth in fewest tackles for loss allowed, yielding 4.0 TFL per game
    • Ninth in fewest quarterback sacks allowed, yielding 1.0 sacks per game
    • 13th in first downs allowed, yielding 16 first downs per game
    • 19th in fumble recoveries with 13 recoveries
  • Kentucky leads the SEC in fewest sacks allowed and kickoff returns
  • Over the last three seasons, UK has improved from 118th in the nation in total defense (2006) to 67th (2007) to 38th this year.
  • Over the last three seasons, UK has improved from 99th in the nation in scoring defense (2006) to 80th to 38th this year.
  • UK is allowing 142.4 rushing yards per game. It is the lowest mark since the 1987 team allowed 140.5 yards per game.
  • UK has allowed 14 rushing touchdowns, the fewest since the 2002 squad allowed 13.
  • UK is allowing 184.6 passing yards per game. It is the lowest mark since the 1994 team allowed 177.9 yards per game.
  • UK is allowing a 52.6 percent completion percentage, the lowest since the 2002 team allowed a 47.2 completion percentage.
  • UK is allowing 327 total offensive yards per game. It is the fewest since the 1989 team allowed 320.3 yards per game.
  • UK is allowing 5.1 yards per play, the lowest since the 1989 defense allowed 4.6 yards per play.
  • After being outscored in the first quarter this season, UK has come back strong to outscore its opponents in the second, third and fourth quarters.
  • Kentucky has blocked four kicks this season, including key blocks in the wins over Louisville and Mississippi State.
  • Including 2008, Kentucky has had a better net punting average than the opponent for five consecutive seasons.

Individual Offensive Notes

  • Senior tailback Tony Dixon is the team’s leading rusher with 341 net yards and seven touchdowns. Dixon now has 1,299 yards in his career and is among UK’s all-time top-20 rushers.
  • Sophomore tailback Derrick Locke was leading the team in rushing with 303 yards when he was lost for the season with a knee injury in the Arkansas game.
  • Sophomore Mike Hartline and freshman Randall Cobb have shared the quarterback position.
    • Hartline started the first eight games. He has thrown for 1,462 yards and eight touchdowns. He was the SEC Offensive Player of the Week in the win over Middle Tennessee when he completed 28 of 47 passes for a career-high 254 yards and two touchdowns.
    • Cobb started the last four games. He has thrown for 542 yards and two TDs. He also has 316 rushing yards and seven TDs. Cobb is the only UK true freshman quarterback to start and win an SEC road game (at Mississippi State) since freshmen became eligible to play in the early 1970s.
  • Despite playing only six games because of a season-ending knee injury sustained vs. South Carolina, senior Dicky Lyons is still the team’s leading pass receiver with 33 catches for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Lyons finished his UK career ranked fifth in school history in pass receptions, fourth in receiving yardage and third in touchdown receptions.
  • Randall Cobb has seen action at wide receiver when not at quarterback; he has caught 21 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Individual Defensive Notes

  • Senior linebacker Braxton Kelley leads the team in tackles with 90 stops.
    • He ranks eighth in the SEC in tackles per game.
    • He has 279 tackles in his career and has made at least three tackles in 24 consecutive games.
  • Junior linebacker Micah Johnson is second on the team in tackles with 87.
    • Having missed two games because of an injury, he is third in the SEC in tackles per game.
    • He has been in double figures four times this season, including a career-high 15 stops in the win over Arkansas.
    • He leads the team in tackles for loss with 11.5 and is sixth in the SEC in that category.
  • Senior linebacker Johnny Williams leads the team in quarterback sacks with five, all of which have come when he plays defensive end on apparent passing downs.
  • Senior defensive tackle Myron Pryor is second on the team in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (4.5). He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following the win at Louisville when he returned a fumble 72 yards for a touchdown and caused another fumble that was returned for a TD.
  • Junior cornerback Trevard Lindley leads the team with four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
    • His 15 total passes defended ranks second in the SEC and 15th in the nation.
    • He broke the school record for career pass breakups with 34.
    • He ranks seventh in school history with nine career interceptions.
  • Senior free safety Marcus McClinton is tied for the team lead in interceptions with four. He has 10 pickoffs in his career, fourth in UK history.
  • Senior cornerback Robbie McAtee leads the team and ranks 11th in the nation in fumbles recovered with three recoveries. Against Middle Tennessee, McAtee made the game-saving tackle on the one-yard line on the final play of the game. McAtee also clinched the win over Mississippi State with a pass interception in the final minute of the game.

Individual Special Teams Notes

  • Senior Tim Masthay leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the nation in punting with a 45.3-yard average.
    • Masthay has been very consistent, averaging at least 41.8 yards per punt in each game.
    • Masthay also handles kickoffs and his 20 touchbacks on kickoffs ranks second in the SEC.
    • Masthay is a first-team Academic All-American. This marks the fourth-consecutive year that UK has a first-team Academic All-American, with only Kentucky and Penn State being able to make that claim.
  • Masthay also broke the school record for most games played in a career with 49. The bowl game will be his 50th contest as a Wildcat.
  • Freshman Winston Guy is averaging 34.4 yards on kickoff returns, including a 96-yard runback vs. Georgia that is the longest non-scoring kickoff return in school history.
  • Derrick Locke averaged 28.5 yards per kickoff return, including a 100-yard kickoff return vs. Western Kentucky. He is one of only five Wildcats in school history who have returned kickoffs 100 yards for TDs.
  • Junior Lones Seiber has made 9-of-16 field goals this season, all 33 extra-point attempts and is the team’s leading scorer with 60 points.
  • Seiber ranks second in school history in field goals made (36), third in school history in extra points made (117) and fourth in scoring (225 points).
  • Redshirt freshman Ryan Tydlacka made a 51-yard field goal vs. South Carolina, UK’s longest since Taylor Begley made a 51-yarder in 2004.
  • Because of season-ending injuries to Dicky Lyons and DeMoreo Ford, Randall Cobb is now the team’s primary punt returner. Cobb is the only player in the nation who is the team’s starting quarterback and punt returner.



2015 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium