LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen and wide receiver/return specialist Lynn Bowden Jr. have been named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively, it was announced Monday by the league. It is Allen’s fourth such honor of the season.
The No. 12 Wildcats secured a wild, come-from-behind victory at Missouri on Saturday, scoring a touchdown on an untimed down to escape Columbia with a 15-14 win after trailing 14-3 with six minutes remaining in the game. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 7-1 overall, 5-1 in the SEC, and clinched their first winning league record since 1977.
Allen, from Montclair, New Jersey, proved to be one of the nation’s elite pass rushers once again, taking over the game in the second half as the Cats’ defense forced eight consecutive three-and-outs and did not gain a single first down after halftime. Allen had a pair of strip sacks in the half as part of his 11-tackle effort.
The senior earned the award for the fourth time this season. Allen has been a terror on defense the entire season as he leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks second nationally in sacks (10.0) and leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in tackles for loss (14.5). He also ranks second nationally in forced fumbles (five).
Interesting Allen notes:
- With 10 sacks on the season, Allen has the most sacks since Dean Wells had 10 sacks in 1992 and is tied for the third-most in a season
- Nine of Allen’s 10 sacks this season have come in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter and three in the third
- Allen is just the fourth player in school history to record 10 or more sacks in a season, and the first since Dennis Johnson in 2001
- Allen is the only player in the FBS since 2000 to have at least 56 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and four passes defended in his team’s first eight games of a season
- His 24.5 career sacks and 34.0 TFLs rank second on UK’s career lists
Bowden, a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Youngstown, Ohio, had a career game to carry the Cats on the offensive side of the ball. He caught 13 passes for 166 yards and sparked the comeback with a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown with 5:18 left in the game. He piled up a career-high 229 all-purpose yards.
Bowden’s 13 receptions are the second-most in a game in UK history and his 166 receiving yards are the ninth-most in a game and most since 2010. He caught a pair of passes on the Cats’ final 81-yard scoring drive and now has 43 receptions for 457 yards and three touchdowns on the season. The explosive athlete is averaging 99.2 all-purpose yards per game, including 20-7 yards per kick return.
The No. 11 Cats return to the field this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET when they face No. 6 Georgia at Kroger Field with a berth in the SEC Championship Game on the line. The game will air on CBS Sports.