Date story was published: Sunday, October 6, 1985
In a night of record setting, Joey Worley's four field goals helped Kentucky beat generous Clemson 26-7 last night before the largest football crowd in school history.
A crowd of 58,230 filled Commonwealth Stadium, and what they saw, besides Worley's kicking exhibition, was a gutty Wildcat performance aided repeatedly by Clemson turnovers.
UK, now 3-1 and headed for the Southeastern Conference meat of the schedule beginning with Mississippi State on Saturday, lost quarterback Bill Ransdell on its first play from scrimmage.
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UK trainer Al Green said Ransdell suffered a collapsed lung and a fracture of the sixth rib on his left side when he scrambled on the play. Green said Ransdell would miss at least one game. He was admitted to Central Baptist Hospital, where his condition was listed as good last night.
Backup quarterback Kevin Dooley took over and completed 15 of 23 passes for 142 yards. He flipped a 5-yard screen pass to Mark Logan for the only touchdown scored by the Wildcats' offense.
Despite his performance, Dooley took no bows afterward.
"It was a team effort," he said. "You can't point out one person.
"I can't say enough for our defense. Holding them to seven points and I don't know how many turnovers."
Clemson was guilty of a horrendous seven turnovers, bringing the team's four- game total to 15. Twice, Clemson set up Worley field goals by fumbling away Jay Tesar punts. An interception and fumble gave Kentucky possession for 10 points in the fourth quarter.
"They held their mistakes to a minimum (one fumble) and we continued to increase ours," Clemson coach Danny Ford said. "Mistakes are killing us, absolutely killing us."
Clemson's giveaways on punts came in the second and third quarters. Returner Donnell Woolford, a freshman, ran into the other deep man on a Tesar kick late in the second quarter. The ball bounced off Woolford and was recovered by UK at the Clemson 39-yard line.
After a 24-yard pass from Dooley to tight end Mark Wheeler got the Cats close, Worley booted his 30-yarder to put UK up 6-0 at the half.
When Clemson fumbled away Tesar's first punt of the second half (a sophomore ran into a senior), UK got the ball at the 37. Worley's 26-yard field goal followed.
"We made a terrible mistake in the second quarter," Ford said of the first fumbled punt. "We didn't learn much from that because we did it again in the second half. We ought to know better than that. We ought to coach better than that."
Dooley threw an incompletion on his first pass, then hit eight of his next nine. He didn't throw an interception.
His only mistake came early in the fourth quarter when he fumbled a snap on fourth down from the Clemson 6-yard line.
"I can't say enough for Kevin Dooley," UK coach Jerry Claiborne said. "He came in cold and hit 15 of 23 for 142 yards. He kept his poise."
As has been the case all season, UK had trouble getting in the end zone. And, again, Worley was nearly automatic. His field goals (27, 30, 26 and 32 yards) equaled his own single-game school record, set in the season opener against Bowling Green, and matched John Pierce's 11-year old single-season mark of 11.
UK's other touchdown came on a 57-yard punt return by Brian Williams, the Wildcats' first such TD since Andy Molls ran back a punt 87 yards against Vanderbilt in 1981.
"That broke our backs," Ford said of Williams' return. It put Kentucky up 16-0 with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter. "After that," Ford said. "we just hurt ourselves with sacks, interceptions . . ."
Clemson, now 1-3, suffered a third straight loss for the first time under Ford. The turnovers, five of which came in the second half, doomed Clemson to its worst defeat since a 34-7 setback to Maryland in 1980. Claiborne coached Maryland at the time.
After Clemson's only score, which cut the deficit to 16-7 and prevented the Tigers' first shutout in 70 games, Kentucky tacked on a clinching touchdown in impressive fashion. The Wildcats went 80 yards in a time-consuming 11 plays late in the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Dooley hit Logan on a screen pass. Logan took it five yards for a touchdown, making the score 23-7.
Clemson, which hadn't been shut out since Maryland beat the Tigers 19-0 in 1979, got on the scoreboard with 5:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Split end Ray Williams ran 25 yards for the touchdown on a reverse. He's run the play three times and scored all three times.
Kentucky capitalized on two plays in the kicking game to widen its 6-0 halftime lead to 16-0 midway in the third quarter.
Clemson punt returners Kevin Brady and Kenny Danforth collided on Tesar's first punt of the second half. UK's Russell Hairston recovered on the Clemson 32.
The Wildcats ran it to the 9-yard line, where Dooley's pass went incomplete. Then Worley kicked his third field goal.
Two minutes later, Kentucky went up 16-0 when Williams returned a punt 57 yards for a touchdown. Williams, a senior who had vowed for four years to return a punt all the way, popped this one up the middle and then outran the defense to the flag. He just dived into the end zone.
"At halftime, all the players said we could get a touchdown on a punt return," Williams said. "One man was getting me on every one (in the first half). We didn't need any adjustments. We just needed a block on that one guy."
Ineffectiveness and injury quickly turned the game into a duel of back-up quarterbacks.
UK lost Ransdell on its first play from scrimmage. The junior quarterback was injured as he scrambled on a rollout. He got sandwiched by two defenders one yard past the line of scrimmage.
Clemson's offense struggled, too. Its first four possessions netted as many turnovers (one interception) as first downs (one).
Starting quarterback Randy Anderson was lifted at that point. Back-up Rod Williams, a more mobile, option-oriented quarterback, didn't do much better.
Clemson had only one scoring threat. In his first series, Williams guided the Tigers 36 yards to the UK 28-yard-line early in the second quarter. The drive stalled there, with Clemson just missing a touchdown when Williams overthrew a wide-open Terrence Flagler in the end zone. UK defensive back Carmichael Caldwell had fallen on the play.
Clemson's David Treadwell, part of a Tiger kicking corps that had made 13 straight from inside the 50, was good from 44 yards out. However, a procedure penalty forced him to try again from 49 yards. He was far short on the second kick.
Dooley, who hadn't thrown a pass this season, put the ball up only once in his first three series.
On the fourth, the sophomore from Cincinnati hit on five straight passes. Those completions were good for 34 yards to midfield. A scramble up the middle by Dooley netted another first down, but a clipping penalty nullified the play and forced a punt.
UK took a 3-0 lead with 7:14 remaining in the second quarter when Worley connected from 27 yards out.