Quarter by quarter: How Kentucky lost to Mississippi State

October 6, 2012 

  • Tennessee at Kentucky

    When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30

    TV: ESPNU

    Records: Kentucky 2-9 (0-7 SEC); Tennessee 4-7 (1-6)

FIRST QUARTER

Summary: State took the opening kickoff and easily marched 85 yards, scoring as two UK defenders collided. A second State score, on a 61-yard drive that took less than three minutes, made it 14-0. UK's only first down came on the last play, when Patrick Towles' first career pass went for 14 yards.

Thumbs up: Landon Foster's first two punts went 56 and 52 yards with no return. UK has a helluva punter.

Thumbs down: UK came out spirited the last two games. No sign of that early in this game.

SECOND QUARTER

Summary: Towles put life in UK, going 5-for-5 for 71 yards in a drive that resulted in a TD. That seem to inspire the defense, which stopped State cold on 3rd-and-1. UK ran the ball three straight times and punted; State reached the UK 3 before settling for a field goal. Towles injured his ankle late in the half (not to play again) and State got a field goal on the last play.

Thumbs up: Towles showed why he's highly touted.

Thumbs down: It would have been nice to see Towles fling it after the scoring drive.

THIRD QUARTER

Summary: With Towles on crutches, the team and crowd seemed zapped. State scored less than three minutes into the half, and discussion turned to just how much misfortune this UK team could stand. UK's other freshman QB, Jalen Whitlow, finished a drive with a 3-yard TD run. UK recovered an onside kick and some energy was back in the crowd; the threat stopped when Whitlow was sacked.

Thumbs up: UK has two exciting young QBs.

Thumbs down: UK needed to score after recovering the onside kick.

FOURTH QUARTER

Summary: A time-consuming State drive ended when UK's Farrington Huguenin recovered a fumble on his own 26. UK reached the State 44-yard line but could not convert on 4th-and-11. A young Kentucky team (14 true freshmen, 22 overall freshmen have played) stayed competitive in the final quarter but never made a serious run.

Thumbs up: Mikie Benton made a big hit to cause the fumble.

Thumbs down: The UK defense let State keep too many drives alive on 3rd-and-long plays.

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