LOUISVILLE — In addition to a dominating defensive performance, the University of Kentucky also got a big boost from its special teams in a 27-2 win over Louisville.
Tim Masthay had a solid day, as four of his seven kickoffs went for touchbacks. He also averaged 42.8 yards on four punts. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tydlacka also made his debut, as he served as the pooch punter. Chewed out by Brooks after sending his first two kicks into the end zone, Tydlacka pinned the Cards at the 1 on his next punt in the third quarter.
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Freshman Matt Roark also blocked a 38-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter.
"Masthay, except for the one (punt) he kicked out of bounds, was phenomenal today," UK Coach Rich Brooks said. "His kickoffs were high. They were in the air a long time and allowed our coverage to get down there. I thought we gained an advantage overall in the kicking game today."
Dicky Lyons Jr. did have a couple of miscues on punts. He muffed one in the fourth quarter, but U of L was whistled for fair-catchinterference. He also let a punt bounce to UK's 6-yard line in the fourth quarter, which preceded a safety for Mike Hartline's intentional grounding in the end zone two plays later.
Brooks said that true freshman Randall Cobb might get more looks as a punt returner in the coming weeks. Cobb has practiced there all fall but only went out for one return, and Corey Goettsche kicked it out of bounds.
Cobb was the team's leading receiver with three catches for 31 yards, but he only played one series at quarterback as UK was trying to run out the clock. Brooks said to expect to see more of Cobb as a return man and QB as the Cats get ready for a three-game homestand.
"I just was reluctant to put him back there in the scenario we were in, because freshmen are more prone to making more mistakes than a veteran," Brooks said. "But I think you'll see his role expand in the weeks to come."
■ UK has won 11 consecutive non-conference games, the longest since a 17-game streak from 1954-60.
■ Sunday marked the first time UK held an opponent without an offensive touchdown since a 25-0 win over Vanderbilt on Nov. 16, 1996.
■ Junior safety Ashton Cobb and senior defensive tackle Myron Pryor both had fumble-return touchdowns, marking the first time that UK had two defensive touchdowns in the same game since a 20-17 win over Cincinnati on Sept. 27, 1986. Chris Chenault and David Johnson both had interception return TDs in that game.
■ True freshman Matt Lentz got his first career interception in his first collegiate game in the fourth quarter.
■ Junior E.J. Adams, a converted cornerback making the first two starts of his career at receiver, had two catches for 17 yards.