By LARRY VAUGHT
Lynn Bowden had a message for Kentucky fans after the Wildcats used a 22-0 second quarter spurt to beat visiting Missouri 29-7 Saturday night in a pivotal game for the Cats.
Kentucky is now 4-4 with three of its four remaining games at home and the other one at Vanderbilt.
“I want to thank my fans, too. The ones who stayed out here in the rain,” Bowden said.
They stayed in part to watch Bowden. he ran for 204 yards and two scores on 21 carries — with a long run of 46 yards — and completed three of seven passes for 54 yards. Kentucky had 360 yards and Bowden accounted for 258 of them.
Bowden had pleaded on social media for fans to come support UK in what turned out to be another rainy game.
“I know we are winners. We are not losers. We just want to win a game,” Bowden said on the SEC Network after the win.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops worried about Missouri’s “tough, physical” defense coming into the game but the Tigers never really had an answer for Bowden, the receiver turned quarterback who has now helped UK pick up critical wins over Arkansas and Missouri.
“Lynn is just being Lynn. He is tough as nails. He threw the ball well. We kept them off balance,” Stoops said.
Stoops called Bowden “amazing” during a halftime interview after UK scored on four straight possessions the second quarter.
“We have total confidence in him,” Stoops said.
Why not? His teammates obviously seem to have the same type confidence in him. Not only has the offensive line become much more physical the last three weeks, but the UK defense has also dramatically stepped up its play.
“The guys all played hard and with great determination,” Stoops said about the defense.
Yet no one has done more than Bowden after he had to take over when quarterback Sawyer Smith went down with a series of injuries after he took over when starting quarterback Terry Wilson went out for the season with a knee injury in game two.
Stoops admitted UK would “not have very many wins” in recent weeks with Bowden making the move from receiver to quarterback work so well.
“Sawyer was banged up and is just getting back to 100 percent,” Stoops said. “We would have a tough time without this guy (Bowden).”
The junior quarterback/receiver credits Stoops for pushing him to succeed.
“He is always on me. He knows what to say to keep me going,” Bowden said. “Having him in my corner is one of the best things that has happened in my life.
“The coaches trust me. When I did make a mistake and would come to the sideline, it was nothing but comfort. I am just an athlete. I am doing that they brought me here to do.”
He’s right about Kentucky counting on him to be a playmaker but there’s no way anyone even at UK could have contemplated Bowden doing all he has in recent games to help save UK’s season.