Tears of joy: Benny Snell all smiles after UK victory
Notes and stats from Kentucky’s 40-38 win over Mississippi State:
▪ Before making the game-winning 51-yard field goal, UK’s Austin MacGinnis was three-of-six on attempts of more than 50 yards. He had not made a 50-yarder since his career-long 54-yard field goal at Tennessee on Nov. 15, 2014.
▪ Before Saturday, MacGinnis had made field goals of 53, 52 and 54. He had missed from 52, 50 and 51. His longest field goal this season was 46 yards against Vanderbilt, which he matched on Saturday.
▪ After an 0-2 start, Kentucky has won four of its last five games.
▪ UK is 3-2 in the SEC since 1999. That Hal Mumme team was actually 3-1 in the league before losing 49-34 at Georgia to fall to 3-2. It finished 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the conference. It lost 20-13 to Syracuse in the Music City Bowl.
▪ Kentucky gained 554 total yards, its most in an SEC game since gaining 580 against Vanderbilt on Nov. 13, 2010.
▪ It was the second time this year and the sixth time in the Mark Stoops’ era that UK has gained over 500 yards. The Cats gained 675 against Miami in 2013. It gained 656 against UT-Martin and 504 against Mississippi State in 2014. It gained 544 against Charlotte last season. It gained 692 against New Mexico State earlier this year.
▪ Kentucky’s 40 points was its second-most against an SEC team since 2007. UK scored 45 in a 45-38 win over South Carolina in 2014. Before that, you have to go back to (in a regulation game) UK’s 42-29 win over Arkansas in 2007.
Q&A: Mark Stoops after Kentucky’s last-second win over Mississippi State
▪ Kentucky rushed for 262 yards, the most rushing yards against SEC opponent since 341 against Vanderbilt, also on Nov. 13, 2010.
▪ UK freshman Benny Snell rushed for 128 yards on 19 carries. The rushing yardage was second to his 136 yards against New Mexico State on Sept. 17.
▪ Snell scored a touchdown and now has six rushing TDs on the season.
▪ Boom Williams rushed for 99 yards on 14 carries, his highest rushing total since rushing for 123 yards on 15 carries against South Carolina.
▪ Jeff Badet caught seven passes for a career-high 139 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. Badet’s previous high was 89 yards on three catches against New Mexico State. He had four career touchdown receptions before Saturday.
▪ Ryan Timmons’ 77 yards on three catches were his most receiving yards since he caught five passes for 114 yards against Mississippi State on Oct. 25, 2014.
▪ Mississippi State rushed for 281 yards, the most against UK since Louisville’s 314 in the season finale last season.
▪ Mississippi State passed for just 81 yards, the lowest total against a UK defense since Miami of Ohio threw for just 23 yards on Sept. 7, 2013.
▪ Mississippi State’s 362 total yards was its fewest against UK since the Bulldogs gained 325 in 2010. The Bulldogs won that game anyway 24-17.
▪ UK safety Marcus McWilson returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown. It was UK’s first pick-six of the season.
▪ It was the first time Kentucky has beaten Dan Mullen, who was a perfect 7-0 against UK before Saturday. Mullen was 1-0 vs. Rich Brooks and 3-0 vs. Joker Phillips. He is now 3-1 vs. Mark Stoops.
▪ UK quarterback Stephen Johnson has now lost five fumbles on the season. For the second time this year, one of Johnson’s fumbles was returned for a touchdown. Alabama returned a Johnson fumble for a score. Mississippi State’s Mark McLaurin returned a Johnson fumble 81 yards for a fourth-quarter score.
▪ Saturday was the third time this season a UK opponent has executed a scoop-and-score. Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison took a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown. Vanderbilt’s Taurean Freguson returned a Boom Williams’ fumble 22 yards for a touchdown. And then Saturday there was McLaurin’s fumble return for a score.
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