Kentucky’s performance against Louisville accentuated how dominant its rushing attack has been this season.
With 517 yards on the ground Saturday, the Wildcats set a school single-game record for the second straight week and moved closer to their first Southeastern Conference rushing title.
The Wildcats’ 3,293 rushing yards are most in school history and their 12-game average of 274.4 per game ranks fifth in the nation and is 23 yards ahead of the No. 2 SEC rushing team, Mississippi.
UK’s key has been converted receiver Lynn Bowden, who became the starting quarterback six games into the season because of injuries. He ran 22 times for an SEC quarterback record 284 yards against Louisville, the second-highest total in UK history, and tied the school record with a career-high four touchdowns. Chris Rodriguez added 125 yards on nine carries against the Cardinals.
Bowden has run for an average of 162.2 yards over the last seven games and his 1,235 yards give UK a 1,000-yard rusher four years in a row.
THE 200 CLUB
Bowden was among five players to rush for more than 200 yards, led by Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson.
Patterson set national season highs with 298 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries against Bowling Green on Friday. The rushing total was the highest since Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin went for 321 against Purdue in November 2018.
Tennessee’s Eric Gray ran 25 times for 246 yards against Vanderbilt, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins carried 31 times for 211 yards against Michigan and Tulsa’s Shamari Brooks ran for a career-high 202 yards on 16 carries against East Carolina.
A couple nuggets from ESPN Stats and Info in the wake of Auburn’s 48-45 win over Alabama: the Crimson Tide were 114-0 on the field since 1936 when scoring at least 45 points, though one of those games was forfeited later. Also, since Nick Saban became Alabama coach in 2007, his kickers have missed 101 field goals, most by any Football Bowl Subdivision team in that span.
Also, Joseph Bulovas, who bounced what would have been the tying 30-yard field goal off the left upright with 2 minutes left, is the only SEC kicker to miss more than one field goal from 30 yards or closer this season.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Two of the season’s three 100-yard interception returns happened Saturday. Hawaii’s Rojesterman Farris II took a pick-six all the way back against Army, and Auburn’s Zakoby McClain did it against Alabama. The other 100-yard pick six was by Missouri’s Ronnell Perkins, against South Carolina, in September.
Washington State’s Anthony Gordon finished the regular season occupying the top six spots on the national chart for single-game completions after connecting on 48 passes against Washington. His top six games, with number of completions: 41, 44, 44, 45, 48, 50.
Texas Tech’s Jett Duffey and Alan Bowman are the only other quarterbacks to complete 40 in a game.
LOTS OF PUNTS
Georgia Tech’s Pressley Harvin III set a national season high with 13 punts against Georgia, the most since Central Michigan’s Jack Sheldon punted 15 times against Toledo last season.
Individual leaders are Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard in rushing (161.3 ypg), Washington State’s Gordon in passing (435.7 ypg) and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase in receiving (132.5 ypg).
Team leaders are Ohio State in scoring (49.9 ppg) and total defense (232.3 ypg), Clemson in scoring defense (10.1 ppg), Navy in rushing (360.8 ypg), Clemson in rushing defense (126.5 ypg), Oklahoma in total offense (564.3 ypg).