UK Football

UK-Missouri notes: Cats waiting their turn stepped up when names were called

Not every ball is going to be handed off to you.

Not every pass is going to be thrown your way, but a couple of Kentucky's major playmakers in the 21-13 victory over No. 25 Missouri on Saturday night did the most with their chances.

"When you get your shot, make something happen," Jojo Kemp said. "Try to get momentum for the team, try to make something happen. Every time I get in the game, I just try to pick up my teammates and get something going."

The junior did more than that, leading the Cats with 13 carries for 66 yards, including a play where he leaped over two defenders to get extra yards.

"Every time I get out there on the field, I try to make the most of my opportunity," he said.

It was that way for another offensive standout: tight end C.J. Conrad, who caught his first career touchdown pass to put the Cats up 14-10 late in the third quarter.

Mainly responsible for blocking in Kentucky's first three games, Conrad knew it was his time when he saw the Missouri formation.

"Honestly, I don't remember much," he said. "I knew I was streaking straight down the middle and I was thinking, 'I'm going to catch this ball.' Seemed like it was coming so slow, and I caught it and I was in the end zone."

Quarterback Patrick Towles, who threw the 24-yard dart, said the defense "parted like the red sea.

"Playing cover-two and it was a 'Look, we got all week' that I was hoping we were going to get again," Towles said. "He made a great play."

Coach Mark Stoops was just pleased to see guys make plays when their names were called.

"Our guys need to understand that one game it's going to maybe be this guy is hot or different things, and he again just made some tough runs," he said of Kemp. "He had some good tough runs."

UK to honor trailblazers

At the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday night, plans were announced to honor four Kentucky trailblazers with a statue outside the new UK football practice facility.

A series of four life-sized statues of Wilbur Hackett, Houston Hogg, Greg Page and Nate Northington will stand between the new practice fields and the practice facility, scheduled to be finished this summer.

The statues will be sculpted by J Brett Grill, who also created the Joe B. Hall statue that sits outside the Wildcat Coal Lodge, said Guy Ramsey, UK's director of strategic communication.

Page, who was tragically injured in practice in August 1967 and passed away, and Northington, the first black player to play in the Southeastern Conference, were inducted together into the UK Hall of Fame this weekend for their part in integrating the league.

Hackett, a three-year starter at linebacker, was the first black player to be named a team captain and the first black player to start in any sport at Kentucky. He was a longtime college official in the SEC. Hackett and Hogg, a running back, were the first black players to complete their eligibility at Kentucky.

Flannigan makes return

In his first game back on the field after a shoulder injury early in fall camp, Ryan Flannigan was back in his place as starter at weakside linebacker and didn't disappoint.

The senior linebacker, who missed most of fall camp, finished with eight tackles, two pass breakups (one he admits should've been a pick) and a quarterback hurry.

"I was just happy to be out there," he said. "Everything was just coming all out of me at once, so it was just good to be out there."

Flannigan had a big spring and was coming off an impressive end to the season last year with a career-best 12 tackles at Tennessee and then 11 more at Louisville along with a pass breakup.

He wondered if he'd take a step back when he came back this time.

"I didn't know how I'd react in the game. My confidence is back up and I just feel good."

But he admitted that he got a little gassed by the end.

Not quite a full house

After back-to-back sellouts to open the renovated Commonwealth Stadium, Kentucky came up short of a third one on Saturday with an announced crowd of 58,008 for the Missouri game.

The depleted crowd numbers came in spite of a plea from Stoops early in the week for another rowdy group.

"I ask the fans to come out again," Stoops said. "I wanted to keep on winning, and part of it (was) to keep on packing this stadium. So let that not be an excuse. We want it full."

For the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, the Cats had 62,933 on hand and 63,040 for the loss to Florida. The new capacity at Commonwealth Stadium is listed as 61,000.

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