LSU dominated all three phases of the game en route to a 41-3 win over the Wildcats, who dug themselves a 17-0 hole after a series of major special teams gaffes in the first quarter.
The Tigers had a 49-yard kickoff return by Terrence Magee to open the game and set up their first touchdown. LSU then got a 16-yard punt return by Tre'Davious White to set up a field goal on its second possession, followed by a 67-yard punt return by White for a touchdown to cap the first-quarter onslaught.
Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 SEC) never recovered from the early knockout punch. The Wildcats finsihed with a season-low 217 yards of total offense.
Magee was the surprise star for LSU, rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. He also caught three passes for 44 yards. UK entered the game concerned about the Tigers' backfield tandem of Leonard Fournette and Kenny Hilliard, but they managed only a combined 74 yards on 22 carries.
LSU (6-2, 2-2 SEC) finished with 423 total yards, incluiding 303 on the ground. The Tigers also had 163 yards from their return game.
Kentucky's lone points came on a 33-yard field goal by Austin MacGinnis with 1:15 left in the first quarter.
In this AllWildcats "Rapid Recap" feature, we touch on some of the keys to the game:
WHAT WENT WRONG:
The tone was set early by the special teams disaster, which also included a 15-yard facemask on the opening kickoff, allowing LSU to start its first drive from the UK 29. Seven plays later, the Tigers were in the end zone. Kentucky's first two possessions were 3-and-outs, allowing the situation to snowball quickly.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Thirty-two of Kentucky's 63 offensive snaps went for zero or minus yardage. Nobody played well for the Cats, but the biggest mismatch appeared to be along the line of scrimmage. It was not a good showing for the UK offensive line, which saw the ground game produce only 2.6 yards per carry and had quarterback Patrick Towles running for his life for most of the night.
"We all accept responsibility. It wasn't a good enough effort, starting with myself, the staff and the players and everybody that made the trip. It wasn't good enough, but it will not define us. We'll go back to work. We all take our responsibility to go back to work and get some things fixed." -- UK head coach Mark Stoops
It's not an ideal situation. Or maybe it is, depending on your point of view. Fresh off its worst loss of a feel-good season to date, UK returns home to play the No. 1 team in the country, Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 SEC). Perhaps that's just what the doctor ordered to get the Cats refocused.