LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky opened the 2019 season at home against Toledo with a 38-24 win
Toledo would strike first after the opening kick driving 63 yards in 7 plays. A Mitchell Guadagni pass for 39 yards was the big play of the drive as he connected with Danzel McKinley-Lewis. Former Wildcat, Bryant Koback, ran it in from 5 yards out to put the Rockets in front 7-0.
Kentucky would go three and out on its first possession as A.J. Rose was thrown for a four yard loss and Terry Wilson's 3rd down pass sailed out of bounds.
The UK defense would make a stop but Toledo pinned UK down to its own three yard line on the punt. The Wildcats offense got it going. A.J. Rose picked up 9 yards on a run, Wilson completed passes to four different receivers including a 14 yard gain to Allen Dailey, Jr. Three different running backs carried the ball including Chris Rodriguez for 21 yards. With UK at the 2, Rodriguez ran the Wildcat, fumbled before he scored into the endzone and Justin Rigg recovered for the UK touchdown. The game was tied at 7-7.
Toledo countered with a 7 play, 75 yard drive that would end with quarterback, Mitchell Guadagni carrying it in from 21 yards out to give the Rockets the lead again 14-7 with 11:31 to play in the 2nd quarter.
Kentucky would use some big plays to tie the game up. Wilson hit Lynn Bowden, Jr. for a 29 yard gain,followed by Rose running for 21 and then he finished off the drive with an 11 yard touchdown run. The game was tied at 14-14 at the half. UK was outgained on offense 231 yards to 169.
Kentucky rushed for a slight bit more 113-109. Wilson was 5-7 for 56 yards while Rose had 8 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown.
Start of the second half, UK's Josh Paschal forced a fumble and Yusuf Corker fell on it in Toledo territory. The Wildcats offense wasn't able to move the ball much and had to settle for a 46 yard field goal from Chance Poore. That was a career high for the redshirt freshman.
Kentucky would get the ball back and they used the passing attack to score. Terry Wilson found Keaton Upshaw for a 17 yard gain. Then, Wilson would let loose on a 32 yard connection to the end zone to put the Wildcats up 24-14.
After the UK offense got the ball back, they gave it up on a fumble by Lynn Bowden, Jr. Toledo was able to turn that into three more points on a 46 yard field goal from Evan Davis. The Wildcats lead was cut to 24-17.
UK would get the ball deep in its own territory when they opened up the passing game. Wilson hit Daley for a 17 yard gain. That was followed by Wilson finding Bowden for a 30 yard gain. That catch made Bowden just the 31st Wildcat to cross 1,000 career receiving yards. Kavosiey Smoke would take the handoff and show his speed down the sideline 40 yards for the touchdown and a 31-17 UK lead.
DeAndre Square would help seal the win as he tipped a pass and caught it for the interception.Wilson would then connect with Josh Ali for the touchdown to extend the UK lead to 38-17.
Toledo would score a late touchdown but Kentucky would win the opener 38-24. The Cats outgained the Rockets on offense 423-347. Wilson finished 19-26 for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns. Smoke led the way on the ground with 7 carries, 78 yards and a touchdown.
UK is now 1-0 and next up is a visit from Eastern Michigan next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:00.