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UK CAN'T CLIMB OUT OF 27-0 HOLE

Date story was published: Sunday, October 20, 1996

BATON ROUGE, La. - Kentucky gained a season-high 287 yards last night against No. 17 Louisiana State last night.

The problem for UK was, more than 204 came in the second half after LSU had taken a 27-0 lead.

The result was a 41-14 victory for the Tigers as Kentucky fell to 1-6.

Kevin Faulk gained 265 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns as LSU outgained Kentucky 465 yards to 287. Faulk, who ran for 138 yards, also caught a pass for 24 yards and returned two punts for 48 yards and two kickoffs for 55 yards.

"We didn't tackle; we didn't get off blocks; we didn't play early like we did the last two weeks," Kentucky Coach Bill Curry said.

Once again, UK lost in a rout that was not as close as the score indicated. How easy was it ?

Forty-one seconds after halftime and two plays after UK back Derick Logan fumbled on the first play of the second half, LSU quarterback Herb Tyler scored his second touchdown. That gave LSU a 27-0 lead.

At the time, Kentucky had three first downs.

"LSU just dominated the game," Curry said. "They came out and moved the ball on us and scored on us at will, especially early. Nobody has done that to us except Florida."

The outcome was decided before the UK offense got untracked. Some strong second-half running by Logan (two touchdowns and 95 yards rushing for the game) and some accurate throwing from backup quarterback Billy Jack Haskins (13-for-17 passing) kept this one from getting worse. Starting quarterback Tim Couch was replaced late in the second quarter and did not play in the second half after throwing for 20 yards.

"We intended to put Billy Jack in in the second quarter," Curry said. "He was very sharp tonight and did a lot of things well. Whoever has the hotter hand plays."

UK now cannot have a winning season. This is Curry's seventh season at UK and his best record was 6-6 in 1993. UK is 0-4 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU is 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.

Curry said he told his team "it is never too late to finish with dignity. You have to fight and make up your mind as an individual that you are never going to give in. You have to disregard the natural things that surround a situation like this. You just have to practice and perform regardless of the situation."

UK defensive end Chris Ward said, "He (Curry) told us it is a matter of believing in ourselves. He's telling us don't quit because he is not going to quit."

LSU wasted no time taking charge, driving 84 yards to score on its first possession on a 23-yard run by Faulk.

The Tigers made it 14-0 on their next series when Tyler ran it in from 18 yards out.

"They came out the first series and attacked us," UK safety Van Hiles said. "The ball started rolling and they really got their confidence."

Tyler, who was replaced in the fourth quarter by Bryan Sparacino, completed 11 of 18 for 144 yards. He also rushed for 54 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

"I thought early, when the game was still a game, he (Tyler) made some real key plays," said LSU Coach Gerry DiNardo.

The closest Kentucky came to scoring in the first half was after recovering a Tyler fumble in the first quarter. Chris Ward sacked Tyler to cause the fumble. George Massey picked it up on the LSU 22, but after losing 4 yards on three rushing plays and another 10 yards on a penalty, Brian Johnson's 41-yard field-goal attempt hit the upright.

LSU added two Wade Richey field goals in the second quarter. The second one, a 54-yarder with eight seconds left in the half, tied a school record .

Kentucky's offense, inept in the first half, showed signs of life in the third quarter. The Wildcats drove to the LSU 2-yard line with Chad Spencer's 52-yard reception providing most of the yardage. Kentucky failed to score on four straight runs by Logan, however, turning the ball over on downs.

The Tigers gave it back four plays later on a fumble by Faulk, giving Kentucky first-and-goal on the 5-yard line. This time, Logan punched it in to make it to make it 27-7.

Logan led Kentucky in rushing with 95 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries.

"Derick improved again tonight and I think some of the young offensive linemen improved again, but it is too little and too late for our team," Curry said.

Kentucky's other score came 45 seconds into the fourth quarter when Logan capped an 80-yard drive with a 4-yard run to cut LSU's lead to 34-14.

Haskins, who passed for 172 yards, was sacked twice and intercepted once.

"The linemen played really well on pass protection," Haskins said. "They got us a lot of time to throw. The way we played the second half is something we can build on."

LSU was not only coming off a 56-13 loss to Florida last week, but also wanted to make amends for a 24-16 loss to UK in Lexington last year. UK has lost eight straight SEC games since.

"This was a little bit of a payback for last year," said LSU defensive tackle Chuck Wiley. "They embarrassed us last year."

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