By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today
LEXINGTON — Lynn Bowden Jr. doesn’t mind accolades, but he enjoys winning football games much more than individual honors.
No one had more fun than Bowden after the receiver turned quarterback rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 21 carries, complete with two touchdowns, to lead the Wildcats to a 29-7 win over Missouri last Saturday night. The junior all-purpose player was named Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week on Monday.
“I just try to win,” Bowden said. “I’m here to win and that’s what I’m most focused on. All of the accomplishments will come later on, but right now I’m trying to win.”
In his third start at quarterback, Bowden ran for 204 yards and also threw for 54 yards, including a career-best 44-yard strike to set up the team’s first touchdown.
Bowden’s teammates weren’t surprised by his performance that gave the Wildcats their second victory in the past three games.
“It’s Lynn Bowden, anything is possible,” Kentucky running back A..J. Rose said. “He’s a playmaker, he’s a competitor, and we knew he was going to give his all out there, so it felt great that he had that performance that he did. I look forward to him progressing up.”
Bowden is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the Wildcats on a winning path. Kentucky (4-4, 2-4 Southeastrn Conference) needs just two wins to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.
“If I got to I will…I stay prepared at all times,” he said of staying at quarterback. “I’m a playmaker (and) that’s what coach (Mark) Stoops and coach (Vince) Marrow brought me here to do and, wherever (position) it’s at, that’s what I’m going to do for them.”
Bowden and Rose credited the offensive line for paving the way to an impressive rushing attack against the Tigers. In his three games at quarterback, Bowden has rushed for 499 yards and four touchdowns, including two of the best individual games in the SEC this season – 196 vs. Arkansas and 204 vs. Missouri.
“Without them, Lynn wouldn’t have the 204 yards that he had (against Missouri),” Rose said. “They did a great job; they got a great push up front and they took care of business.”
Coming off a 21-0 loss to Georgia the previous week, Bowden said the Wildcats didn’t get down following the first shutout defeat of the Stoops era.
“I don’t think we ever lost confidence,” Bowden said. “This past week our confidence was through the roof- going good against good during practice. On both sides of the ball, we had a lot of confidence.”
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Gametracker: Tennessee at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 9. TV/Radio: SEC Network, UK Radio Network.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.