Andre Woodson Shines in Victory Over Owls

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Andre Woodson threw for a career-high five touchdowns but had his NCAA-record streak of consecutive passes without an interception snapped at 325 as No. 14 Kentucky dominated Florida Atlantic 45-17 Saturday.
Four different receivers caught scoring throws from Woodson, who completed 26 of 33 passes for a season-high 301 yards in just over three quarters.

Woodson would have had a sixth TD, but his toss to fullback John Conner was picked off by Tavious Polo as the two players battled for the ball near the goal line. It was the seventh interception of the year for the freshman cornerback, who came into the game as the national leader.

A week earlier against Arkansas, Woodson set the national major college mark of consecutive passes thrown without an interception, surpassing Trent Dilfer's record of 271. He pushed the streak past 300 in the Wildcats' opening drive, which ended with a 14-yard strike that Dicky Lyons Jr. cradled from his knees in the back of the end zone. Lyons later scored from 22 yards out.

After the Owls answered with a field goal, Woodson struck again. This time he connected with Steve Johnson for a 27-yard TD.

By the time the first half was finished, Kentucky (5-0) was up 28-10, all from Woodson TD passes. The final one of the half was a perfectly placed 34-yarder between two defenders to Keenan Burton, who dived into the end zone, his arm outstretched with the ball. With the catch, Burton became the third Kentucky player in history to reach 2,000 career receiving yards.

Florida Atlantic (3-2) came into the game ranked second nationally in turnover margin, with nine more gains than losses. Although Polo was the team's turnover star, Woodson didn't shy away from him, throwing his way numerous time, starting with the first pass.

Kentucky chipped away at the Owls' turnover margin, recovering a fumble and grabbing interceptions by Braxton Kelley and Micah Johnson, the latter returned 16 yards for the Wildcats' final score.

Kentucky nearly got another turnover late in the first half when it appeared Dominic Lewis had stripped a fumble out of quarterback Rusty Smith's hands. However a holding penalty against the Wildcats negated that.

Lones Seiber missed a 43-yard field goal attempt as the half expired, but Kentucky headed to the locker room up 28-10.

Florida Atlantic is coached by Kentucky alumnus Howard Schnellenberger, who is credited with resurrecting programs at Miami and Louisville. Schnellenberger tried some trickery, including reverses and a hook and lateral play that resulted in 17 yards.

The Owls did reach the end zone twice, in the second quarter on a 20-yard pass from Smith to Cortez Gent, and in the fourth on a one-yard plunge from Charles Pierre set up by a long kickoff return.

In the end, however, Florida Atlantic couldn't keep up with the Wildcats' speed. Kentucky running back Rafael Little had 20 carries for 112 yards, and Burton led all receivers with 100 yards.

Kentucky faces a short week of practices before heading to South Carolina Thursday to face Steve Spurrier, a coach it has never beaten. Other SEC titans follow, Louisiana State and defending national champion Florida.

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