Lexington, Ky. — Bobby Rainey accounted for 256 all-purpose yards —including 99 yards rushing, but the Western Kentucky University football team only accounted for three points as Kentucky scored 31 unanswered points en route to a 41-3 win Saturday evening at Commonwealth Stadium.
The loss dropped the Hilltoppers to 2-3 on the season, while UK remained undefeated and moved to 4-0.
"UK really got after us up front," said Hilltopper head coach David Elson. "We’ve got to move on. We have a heck of an opponent in Virginia Tech next week."
The Hilltopper offense accounted for -12 yards of total offense in the opening quarter, with short fields leading to Kentucky’s two offensive scores of the half. Ryan Tydlacka put the Wildcats on the board with a 45-yard field goal at the 10:56 mark of the first quarter on their opening drive. UK put up its second score early in the second quarter thanks to a 7-play, 38-yard drive. Tony Dixon accounted for 17 of those yards on the ground, and finished things off with a one-yard run to make it a 10-0 game.
After being forced to punt on their first six possessions of the contest, the Toppers rode the legs of Rainey to their first score of the game. Starting at its own 20, Rainey broke a 40-yard run on WKU’s first play of the drive to move the ball into UK territory. The drive appeared to stall, but with the Hilltoppers in punt formation, Kentucky was called for offsides to bring up a fourth-and-short situation. Tanner Siewert then knocked through a career-long 50-yard field goal to cut the Wildcat lead to 10-3.
It was only the eighth field goal of 50 or more yards in WKU football history, and the longest by a Hilltopper since Chris James knocked throw a 54-yarder at Missouri State on Oct. 14, 2006.
Any momentum WKU gained after the long kick was quickly taken away, however, as Derrick Locke took the ensuing kickoff out of the endzone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 17-3 lead at halftime.
UK scored on four of its first five drives in the second half to account for its final 24 points. The Wildcats struck quickly out of the locker room as they drove 73 yards in just four plays, getting a 35-yard touchdown run from Alfonso Smith to take a three-score advantage. A 61-yard drive late in the quarter ended with a 2-yard scoring pass from Mike Hartline to Moncell Allen as UK stretched its lead to 31-3 at the end of three quarters.
Dixon added a two-yard touchdown run early in the quarter, and Tydlacka book-ended the scoring with another field goal – this time from 33 yards — to close out the 41-3 victory.
In addition to his 99 rushing yards — the most by a Hilltopper in a game this season — Rainey returned four kickoffs for 149 yards. That included a 74-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.
In all, the Toppers finished the game with 157 yard of total offense, with 142 of those coming on the ground.
WKU will continue its run of five road games in the first six weeks next Saturday when it faces Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Kickoff with the Hokies is slated for 12:30 p.m. (CDT).