Mark Story

Instant analysis: Who’s up, who’s down after UK’s 35-20 win over Central Michigan

Kentucky wide receiver David Bouvier outran Central Michigan defensive back Devonni Reed to score his first career touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Gunnar Hoak during the first half at Kroger Field on Saturday.
Kentucky wide receiver David Bouvier outran Central Michigan defensive back Devonni Reed to score his first career touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Gunnar Hoak during the first half at Kroger Field on Saturday. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 35-20 win over Central Michigan:

How the game was won

Kentucky running backs A.J. Rose and Benny Snell each ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns as UK overcame a 17-7 deficit and four first-half turnovers to win its 2018 season opener.

Game balls

1. A.J. Rose. The redshirt sophomore built on his strong showing in the UK spring game with 104 yards rushing and two touchdowns on only eight carries vs. CMU.

2. Benny Snell. On a day when he was reportedly under the weather, the UK star still ran for 125 yards and two TDs.

3. Kentucky run blocking. UK’s offensive front had dominant control of the line of scrimmage in half two.

4. Josh Allen. UK senior (10 tackles, six solo, three tackles for loss, one quarterback sack) played like an elite outside linebacker.

5. The Kentucky defense. Other than one long scoring drive surrendered, the UK “D” stoned Central Michigan.

Running gassers

1. Kentucky ball security. UK was beyond fortunate not to be in an insurmountable first-half hole after committing four turnovers before halftime.

2. UK pass protection. Central Michigan’s defensive front is good, but you would have liked to have seen better pass protection provided by a veteran Kentucky offensive line.

3. Terry Wilson. Three first-half turnovers in the UK QB’s first FBS game was not exactly the ideal debut. Credit to Wilson for returning to the game in half two and leading two scoring drives.

Key number(s)

Ten of eleven. Terry Wilson became the 10th Kentucky starting quarterback to win his initial UK start out of the last 11. The lone exception is Jalen Whitlow, whose first start at UK was a 27-14 loss to Mississippi State in 2012.

Fashion police

For its 2018 season opener, Kentucky wore blue helmets, blue jerseys with white letters and numbers and white pants. Kentucky has now won five of its last six games in blue jerseys.

Fans in the stands

Kentucky announced a crowd of 49,138. It was the smallest UK season-opening crowd since 2012 when the Cats drew 48,346 against Kent State.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230; Twitter: @markcstory

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