Comeback Cats strike again! UK 42 Arkansas 29

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark -- The Kentucky Wildcats fell behind 20-7 in the 2nd quarter, but outscored Arkansas 35-9 the rest of the way to lodge an important SEC road victory. The comeback victory marks Kentucky's ninth win in its last 10 outings, including their fifth victory after trailing in the 4th quarter, and moves UK to 1-0 in the SEC after opening on the road for the first time in 23 years.

For the fifth time in the last ten games, Kentucky trailed in the 4th quarter--and won. This time it took a set of strange twists and turns before the Cats emerged victorious.

In the first half Arkansas dominated the statistics, outgaining the Wildcats by more than 250 yards, and dominating time of possession, holding the ball almost 20 minutes in the half. Still, the Wildcats stayed close, courtesy of a 66-yard fumble return by Trevard Lindley shortly before halftime to cut the lead to 20-14. The Kentucky offense was near-anemic, managing just five first downs the first half to 16 for Arkansas, and only 131 total yards.

Fortunately, they play two halves before calling it a day, though. For the fourth consecutive week, UK received the second half kickoff. And for the fourth consecutive week, UK responded with an opening second half touchdown, giving UK their first lead of the game, 21-20. Andre Woodson connected with Keenan Burton on a 15-yard touchdown pass for the 21-20 advantage.

The game settled into a defensive struggle, as the teams matched defensive stands the remainder of the quarter, and the 4th quarter began with UK clinging to a narrow 1-point margin. The Razorbacks would capitalize on a Wildcat error--and then capitalize again to overcome that deficit and push the lead to eight.

After an Arkansas punt pushed the Wildcats back inside their 3-yard line, Woodson checked off a play at the line of scrimmage, but running back Alfonso Smith did not get the changed call. A mixup ensued, with Smith and Woodson colliding, and a sack in the end zone game Arkansas a safety and a 22-21 lead almost midway through the 4th quarter. On the following kick, Arkansas' Felix Jones returned the safety kick 82-yards for a touchdown, and the converted extra point put Arkansas ahead 29-21, with the situation appearing bleak.

The Cats would not be denied tonight, however. With Rafael Little, Alfonso Smith and Tony Dixon all dinged up, UK turned to track star-turned football player Derrick Locke. Locke carried nine times for 48 yards, including the next Wildcat score, a 2-yard touchdown run that cut the lead to 29-27. The attempted two-point conversion failed, though, leaving UK with a two-point deficit and time growing short.

The Kentucky defense held Arkansas again, as they did the entire second half, and turned the ball over to the offense with a punt with just under six minutes to play. In a short 1:38, Woodson hit Burton for their 2nd touchdown connection, a 32-yard touchdown that gave UK a 33-29 lead. Woodson and Burton repeated their success on the two-point conversion, and the Cats held a 35-29 lead with 4:02 to go.

Arkansas had one more chance. On 4th down and 11, however, the Razorbacks could not convert and UK took over deep in Arkansas territory. A Woodson 1-yard sneak and the following extra point conversion gave UK the final margin of victory.

For the night, Woodson finished 21-39, 265 yards, two touchdowns, with one rushing touchdown. He did not throw an interception, breaking the all-time NCAA record previously held by Trent Dilfer for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception. Woodson's streak is now 296 consecutive passes thrown without a pick.

Arkansas Heisman hopeful Darren McFadden had another stellar outing. McFadden rushed for 173 yards on 29 carries, with one touchdown. Felix Jones provided the other half of the one-two Razorback rushing punch, gaining 133 yards on 12 carries. Jones also added an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Arkansas outgained Kentucky on the ground by almost double the yardage, 338 to 170. Tony Dixon led four Wildcat running backs with 78 yards on nine carries. All four running backs averaged at least 4.7 yards per carry.

The 42 points today by Kentucky marked the fourth consecutive game the Wildcats have scored 40 or more points in a game. For the season, UK is averaging 47.0 points per contest.

Kentucky (4-0, 1-0) will face Florida Atlantic (3-1, 2-0) next week in Commonwealth Stadium in a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. The Owls have defeated Minnesota of the Big 10, along with Middle Tennessee and North Texas, while dropping a road contest to Oklahoma State. Arkansas (1-2, 0-2) will stay at home for the next three ballgames including next week against North Texas.

AllWildcats Top Stories