By LARRY VAUGHT
I’m not sure exactly what the perfect season-ending game would be for Kentucky football fans — but what happened at Louisville Saturday night had to be close.
Kentucky scored touchdowns on all five first-half possessions, had two 100-yard rushers in Benny Snell and A.J. Rose, and had six different players score touchdowns in a 56-10 beatdown of Louisville.
Quarterback Terry Wilson led an offense that amassed 601 total yards. Let me repeat that — 601 total yards. He was 17 for 23 from the field for 261 yards and three touchdowns. He ran 10 times for 79 yards and one score with a long run of 40 yards.
“I feel pretty good about a future with Terry Wilson,” UK junior linebacker Kash Daniel said.
Louisville played with a lack of discipline one might expect from a team with just two wins this year that has already fired its head coach. The Cardinals were penalized 12 times for 134 yards, including nine times for 108 yards in the first half.
“You know that high school team that knows they can’t beat you, so they just try to fight you? That’s who we just played,” Daniel told Dick Gabriel on the UK Radio Network postgame show.
The first half was a Kentucky offensive show that had been missing the second half of the season. Here’s what UK did in the first half:
— Eight-play, 53-yard drive with 7-yard Benny Snell touchdown.
— Nine-play, 84-yard drive with 3-yard Terry Wilson touchdown.
— Seven-play, 77-yard drive with 24-yard Benny Snell touchdown.
— Eight-play 75-yard drive with 28-yard touchdown pass to Lynn Bowden.
— Seven-play, 67-yard drive with 13-yard touchdown pass to Lynn Bowden.
That was five drives, five touchdowns. Kentucky had 39 plays for 330 total yards in the first half to bury the Cardinals just the way that UK fans had envisioned.
“Our offense is explosive like that all the time,” Wilson said. “We just had to go out there and make it work.”
And make it work Kentucky did even though Snell sat out most of the second half with a back injury he suffered on a Louisville interception return. He still finished with 100 yards and now will need 108 yards in UK’s bowl game to become the school’s all-time leading rusher.
Rose, a sophomore, had 112 yards rushing, including a 75-yard touchdown sprint. It was his first 100-yard rushing game since the season opener against Central Michigan.
Sophomore Lynn Bowden continued his progress with six catches for 86 yards, including two touchdown catches.
“He’s been really steady and getting better,” UK coach Mark Stoops said. “But we have a bunch of guys that really want to win.”
Josh Ali also had a 32-yard touchdown catch and tight end C.J. Conrad had two catches for 59 yards.
Kentucky’s defense had eight tackles for loss, led by two by Daniel — he had a team-high eight tackles overall. Linebacker Josh Allen had a sack among his four tackles.
The defense gave up 305 yards but 147 yards came on three plays, including a 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But even that couldn’t stop Kentucky from setting a new margin of defeat record for Louisville in Cardinal Stadium.
Georgia Tech set a new mark this year with a 35-point win before North Carolina State beat Louisville by 42. Now UK has its 46-point win. That means the 34-point margin of defeat record set against Louisville in 1998 was broke three times this year.