LEXINGTON, KY: Andre Woodson tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Drobney and Arliss Beach scored on a 2-yard rush as the Wildcats came back from a 16-14 halftime deficit to pull in front of a tight contest. The Bengals of Idaho State would not go away, however, retaking the lead in the 4th quarter. Beach and Rafael Little would add two more touchdowns in the 4th quarter as the Wildcats held off Idaho State for a 41-29 victory.
"Our second quarter for two weeks in a row has just been a disaster," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said, "we were not playing aggressive defense. Our tackling was awful. Luckily, we had some people to step up and make some big plays. The return by Little was huge."
Little's touchdown came on a 99-yard kickoff return, the key play of the game for the Wildcats. After Idaho State scored to pull back in front at 29-28, Little's kickoff return would put the Cats up for good. Little also rushed for a career-high 104 yards in the game.
"I just ran through the holes my teammates created for me," Little (who was named player of the game) said of his kickoff return, "they get the credit. I really enjoy returning kicks. I'll do it as much as I can."
"We have played poorly in the first half two games in a row," Little said, "we've got to get out there and play like we want to beat somebody. Our goal is to get to a bowl game. We don't want to go home like we did last year. We owe our fans better."
For Kentucky, it was the first win of the year evening their record to 1-1. The Bengals dropped to 1-1.
"The no-huddle offense has been working well for us so far," Little added, "we are beating the defense with it. We find the sweet spot and hit it before they can set up."
For the Wildcats, quarterback Andre Woodson passed for 170 yards on 15-20 pass attempts, including two for touchdowns.
Kentucky drew first blood on a 6-yard touchdown run by Alexis Bwenge for a 7-0 lead. The Bengals would keep the game close on two Jaret Johnson field goals, the latter attempt at 50 yards. Johnson would add a 31 yard field goal to give the Bengals their first lead of the game at 9-7. The Cats and 1-AA Bengals traded touchdowns in the second period and it was Idaho State that took a 16-14 lead into the locker at the half.
For Kentucky, the victory was softened as their injuries continued to mount. Receiver Keenan Burton broke a bone and team leader Tommy Cook was also injured. Kentucky travels to play the Indiana Hoosiers next week.
"The injuries have just been devastating," Brooks said, "first we lost Marcus McClinton in the first quarter. He dislocated his kneecap and will be out for the year. The only good news is that he has a redshirt year."
"Keenan Burton, who has been one of the best playmakers in the conference, broke a bone in his foot," Brooks added, "He will be out a minimum of four to five weeks. He will be back but probably not in the best of condition at first."
"Of all the people, Tommy Cook dislocated his knee cap," Brooks said, "it's freakish for us to get injuries of this type. He will be out for three to four weeks. The list goes on. B.Jay Parsons left with a sprained ankle as did Glenn Holt. Davis had back spasms. We need to get well. We are getting ready to play a 2-0 Indiana team that will be looking to beat us."
"We tried to preach all week long how good this football team could be," Brooks said, "but this game was not easy. No game is going to be easy for us. We probably missed nine tackles on the first two drives where they had the ball. Linebackers and defensive backs have really got to make the plays for us."