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“Unselfish” A.J. Rose, Kavosiey Smoke come up big in UK win

A.J. Rose (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Lynn Bowden was the obvious star of Kentucky’s 24-20 comeback win over Arkansas Saturday night with 195 yards rushing and two touchdowns along with throwing for a touchdown in his first collegiate start at quarterback, a move  UK made out of necessity because of an injury to Sawyer Smith.

However, don’t overlook what running backs A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke also did — thanks to some much better play from the offensive line the last three quarters.

Rose ran 16 times for 90 yards with a long of 27 yards. Smoke had 11 rushes for 45 yards with a long of 25 yards. Combined with Bowden’s 195 yards and UK ran for 330 yards in a game where the Arkansas defense was stacked to stop the running game.

“I thought they (Rose and Smoke) obviously did some really good things, hit some good runs. We, there was one or two, I always remember the negative, because that’s what we just do. There was one late that we could have been more patient and hit it but we were backed up, so you can understand why he was thinking about just getting some yards,” Stoops said.

“But overall they did a really nice job. The backs were very unselfish, they blocked hard on the perimeter, they ran the ball hard.”

Yes they did and they kept doing it.

Stoops also put in a nice plug for his entire coaching staff.

“Really proud of our coaches, across the board. Both sides did an exceptional job, just really proud of Eddie (Gran), Coach Hinshaw and the offensive coaches really had some good things in there and some unique plays and it really stood out tonight, and it put our guys in a good situation defensively,” Stoops said.

“(Defensive coordinator) Brad (White) did an exceptional job. All those guys they did a nice job tonight.”

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