Date story was published: Friday, December 23, 1983
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- West Virginia stormed from behind in the second half and spoiled Kentucky's first bowl appearance since 1976 by beating the Wildcats 20-16 last night in the Hall of Fame Bowl at frigid Legion Field.
Kentucky held a 10-3 lead at the half as West Virginia quarterback Jeff Hostetler failed to completed a pass in 10 attempts. The second half, however, was a different game. Hostetler completed seven of his first eight passes, guiding the Mountaineers to two touchdowns and a field goal.
West Virginia tied the game on a touchdown pass from Hostetler to Rich
Hollins after recovering an onside kick to start the second half. The Mountaineers moved in front 17-10 after Hostetler picked up 36 yards on a third-andseven play at the UK 38 and then tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Rob Bennett.
Paul Woodside booted a 23-yard field goal that gave West Virginia a 2010 advantage after Tim Agee intercepted a Randy Jenkins pass and returned it to the UK 11.
Kentucky closed to within four points late in the fourth quarter when backup quarterback Bill Ransdell took the Wildcats 93 yards, capped by a 14yard touchdown pass to Joker Phillips. However, John Hutcherson missed the extra point try.
After spotting the favored Mountaineers a Woodside field goal in the first half, the Wildcats used a trick play and a field goal of their own to go ahead.
The trick play was a halfback option pass from Tony Mayes to quarterback Jenkins. Mayes, a quarterback at Paintsville High, took a pitchout to the right, stopped on a dime and looked to the other side of the field for Jenkins.
The UK quarterback had drifted into the left flat. When Mayes turned, Jenkins started upfield. WVU cornerback Mike Scott appeared to have Jenkins covered, but the senior from Stickleyvile, Va., cut in front of Scott at the last instant and caught Mayes' floater diving into the end zone. The 26-yard play capped a 54-yard, eight-play drive that gave Kentucky a 7-3 lead with 10:59 remaining in the second quarter.
Until that play, UK had shown little life offensively. Jenkins fumbled the first snap from center, but managed to cover the ball for a 4-yard loss at the WVU 24-yard-line.
Brian Williams, who returned two punts for 57 yards in the half, took one 23 yards to set up UK's first possession. Two plays that gained 13 yards were nullified by the yardage lost on Jenkins' fumble.
Hutcherson, who was elevated to first-string because of the suspension of regular place-kicker Chris Caudell, lined up for a 28-yard field goal. The holder, third-string quarterback Doug Martin, rose after taking the snap and tried to hit tight end Oliver White in the back of the end zone. Martin's pass hit the crossbar.
Hutcherson got another chance late in the second quarter and delivered. The sophomore from Versailles split the uprights with a 32-yarder with 43 seconds left in the half, increasing UK's lead to 10-3.