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DEFENSELESS CATS DRILLED 59-29

Date story was published: Sunday, September 18, 1994

They ran around, they ran over, they ran through. And then they ran around, they ran over, they ran through. And then, just for good measure, the Indiana Hoosiers ran around, they ran over, and they ran through. And through. And through.

And when it was done, the IU ground machine had rolled up a stunning 564 yards to steamroll a defenseless Kentucky 59-29 last night at Commonwealth Stadium.

"I've never been more embarrassed or more angry," UK Coach Bill Curry said. "I don't think I can pick between the two."

"Couldn't" was a Cat catchword on a night when the home team couldn't catch, couldn't tackle and couldn't slow down a trio of Hoosier taibacks, led by Alex Smith, a redshirt freshman who plowed through UK's swiss cheese of a defense for 221 yards and two touchdowns -- one a 63-yard run -- on just 19 carries.

Backup Jermaine Chaney, a third-teamer, added 167 yards on 17 carries, including a 50-yard dash for a score. Brett Law, the second-teamer, added 97 yards on 13 carries, including one for a touchdown. Even quarterback John Paci picked up 48 yards and and ran for three scores as IU improved to 3-0.

They ran around, they ran over, they ran through. In fact, the Hoosiers' 650 yards of total offense was the most ever allowed by UK, surpassing the 649 that Warren McVea and Houston poured on the Cats in 1966. The 564 rushing yards were the most ever by Indiana and the most allowed by UK, topping the 426 yards Curry's Cats gave up to Mississippi State in 1991.

"To have someone run up and down the football field like that makes it look like you've never practiced the fundamentals," said Curry, whose disheveled squad is 1-2. "Indiana has a fine football team, but that had nothing to do with tonight."

And we thought was Florida was bad.

Indeed, stacked atop last week's 73-7 drubbing at Florida Field by Steve Spurrier's top-ranked Gators, the combined 132 points were the most ever allowed in back-to-back games by UK. The previous mark was 89, set in the final two games of 1990, Curry's debut campaign.

"We can't figure out what's going on," said linebacker Donte Key. "I don't have an explanation."

"We just can't believe this is happening," said linebacker David Snardon.

The defensive debacle far overshadowed an offensive performance that saw UK quarterback Antonio O'Ferral throw for a career-high 244 yards and three touchdowns, and tailback Moe Williams gain 72 yards on 16 carries. That was far too little and way too late.

The Hoosiers made it so, running around, running over and running through. In three games, UK has allowed 360 rushing yards a game. And where Louisville and Florida relied on draws and delays off a passing game, Indiana just ran straight at the collapsible Cats. "There was no trickery," said Curry.

Just old-fashioned Bill Mallory-style smash-mouth football, run to near perfection. "We had to get right at them, and we did that offensively," Mallory said. "We controlled the line."

Make that dominated the line. Indiana had the football six times in the first half; it scored touchdowns on the first five drives, then missed a 54- yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Drive No. 1: Tate Harbottle, a senior defensive end, blocked a Nicky Nickels punt, giving IU the ball at the UK 22. Smith, running like Emmitt, ripped off 13 yards up the middle, then 9 more to the end zone. IU led 7-0.

Drive No. 2: Taking over on their 43, Smith ticked off runs of 12 and 17 yards. Paci did the honors, sneaking over from the 1. IU 14-0.

Drive No. 3: After Brian Sivinski kicked a 48-yard field goal, the Hoosiers went 77 yards. Paci had an 18-yard scramble and a 22-yard completion to tight end Ben Klusmeyer. Paci hit the sophomore for the touchdown from 5 yards out. IU 21-3.

Drive No. 4: After UK scored to cut the lead to 21-10, Indiana marched 72 yards in nine plays. Smith had runs of 15 and 34 yards. The 34-yarder took it to the 1-yard line. Two snaps later, Paci sneaked in for the score. IU 28-10.

Drive No. 5: The Hoosiers moved 89 yards in 11 plays. Without Smith. Without Paci (Chris Dittoe was the quarterback). Without opposition. After a no-gainer on the first play, the Hoosiers had runs of 25, 12, 9, 8, 8, 15 and 8. Law scored from 2 yards out. IU 35-10.

Kentucky actually showed some life early in the second half, driving 48 yards in two plays, with O'Ferral hitting Clyde Rudolph for a 23-yard scoring pass. The Cats even followed that by making the Hoosiers punt for the first time all night.

But the home team's offense couldn't get a first down. And one play later, IU's Smith ripped off his beauty of a 63-yard touchdown run, pushing the rout to 42-17. And it didn't get any better.

"I'd get blocked, turn my head and he was gone," said defensive end Chris Ward. "I was confused. I didn't know what was going on."

He was not alone.

"This isn't the lowest point," Snardon said, "but I'm not interested in getting any lower."

Rewriting the book

Offensive milestones by the Indiana offense in last night's game:

An IU school-record 564 yards rushing on 70 carries (old record: 474 vs. Northwestern in 1988).

Record 564 rushing yards by UK opponent (old record: 426 by Mississippi State in 1991).

59 points, the most ever scored by a Bill Mallory-coached IU team.

221 yards rushing by freshman tailback Alex Smith broke Big Ten record (old record: 207 by IU's Anthony Thompson versus Wisconsin in 1986) and broke record by UK opponent (old record: Harvey Williams, LSU, 213 in 1990).

IU's 35 first downs, most by UK opponent (old record: Florida, 32, in 1990).

School-record eight PATs by IU's Bill Manolopoulos.

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