Mark Story

Lynn Bowden enters his name in Kentucky football lore with more ‘WR playing QB magic’

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Game day: Kentucky vs. Arkansas

Click below for more of’s coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky-Arkansas football game at Kroger Field in Lexington.

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Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 24-20 win over Arkansas:

How the game was won

Wide receiver Lynn Bowden started at quarterback and rallied Kentucky from a 13-0 hole to lead UK to a desperately needed Southeastern Conference victory.

Game balls

1. Lynn Bowden. An incredible individual effort (24 carries, 196 yards rushing and two touchdowns; 7-of-11 passing for 78 yards) made “a wide receiver playing quarterback” work wonders for Kentucky football yet again.

2. Calvin Taylor and T.J. Carter. With the game in the balance on Arkansas’ final offensive drive, Taylor got a crucial quarterback sack on third down and Carter foiled the fourth-down play with a quarterback hurry.

3. A.J. Rose. The Kentucky junior running back ran hard (90 yards on 16 carries) and even completed a pass from the wildcat formation.

4. Yusuf Corker. Kentucky’s sophomore safety led the Wildcats with nine tackles including seven solos. He was also credited with a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.

5. Eddie Gran. The offensive coordinator that some UK fans love to bash completely redesigned the Kentucky offense and won an SEC game with a wide receiver playing quarterback.

6. Mark Stoops. Led his team to a victory UK desperately needed to keep hope alive in its season.

Reasons for worry

1. Kentucky run defense. Allowed Arkansas star Rakeem Boyd 134 yards rushing — but at least this week it was only one 100-yards-plus rusher for the opponent.

2. UK passing game. Obviously, with a wide receiver playing quarterback there are going to be limits to how well you can throw the ball.

3. Georgia anger. After the Bulldogs’ upset loss to South Carolina, Kirby Smart’s crew figures to be in a foul mood next week in Athens.

Key number(s)

Three and three. In the 21st century, Kentucky is now 3-3 in games in which it starts a wide receiver at quarterback. Randall Cobb went 1-3 in 2008 and Matt Roark was 1-0 in 2011.

Fashion police

For its 2019 Homecoming game, Kentucky wore silver chrome helmets, blue jerseys with white numbers and letters and blue pants. UK had not worn that helmet/uniform combination since beating Tennessee 29-26 at Kroger Field in 2017.

The ‘Cat-mosphere’

1. On “Jared Lorenzen Day” at Kroger Field, the family of the late Kentucky quarterback as well as friends, ex-teammates and former coaches including ex-UK head man Rich Brooks were recognized on the field before the game. As the Wildcats marching band played “My Old Kentucky Home,” a highlights package of Lorenzen’s Kentucky career (2000-2003) was shown on the Kroger Field video screens.

2. One has to think Lorenzen — who died July 3 at age 38 after battling kidney and heart problems — would have been gratified by the number of fans who turned out wearing No. 22 Lorenzen jerseys. Injured Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson was among those wearing No. 22 to honor Lorenzen.

3. Derek Smith, Jared Lorenzen’s teammate at both UK and Fort Thomas Highlands High School, told UK Radio that “my best memories were playing with Jared right here on this field ... I miss my quarterback, my teammate but mostly I miss my friend.”

4. Former Kentucky star running back Moe Williams was the ex-Cat on the field to bang the “Go Big Blue Drum” before the game.

5. Ex-UK softball pitching star Abbey Cheek was presented with her 2019 National Player of the Year Award by the softball coaches’ association during a stop in play in the first quarter.

Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.