Wildcats improve to 2-0 with win over EKU

Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary (13) throws the ball during the first half of an NCAA college...
Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary (13) throws the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Eastern Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Haas Hutchins)(Michelle Haas Hutchins | AP)
Published: Sep. 9, 2023 at 6:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky Wildcats (2-0) beat the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (0-1) 28-17 Saturday at Kroger Field.

The game marked the sixth meeting all-time between the two teams. The Wildcats have never lost to EKU.

The Colonels started off the scoring- after forcing a three-and-out for UK’s first drive, senior linebacker Cornelius Evans got a hand on UK’s punt to give EKU good field position. From there, Eastern drove it six plays for 30 yards, capping the drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown from fifth-year quarterback Parker McKinney. The Colonels would lead Kentucky 7-0 after a quarter.

With just seconds left until the half, the Cats would get on the board when senior quarterback Devin Leary found fifth-year wide receiver Tayvion Robinson on a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it a tied ballgame at halftime.

Walt Wells’ squad came out strong in the second half; the Colonels took it 10 plays for 71 yards and ended the drive in a 21-yard field goal from redshirt junior Patrick Nations. UK would have an answer, though, Leary and Robinson connected for their second touchdown of the day with 5:52 left in the quarter to take the first lead of the game. After an Alex Raynor field goal, UK held a 14-10 lead. Late in the third, Leary connected with a wide open Barion Brown on a 13-yard TD to give UK a 21-10 advantage heading into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, McKinney connects with Wayne County alum, junior running back Braedon Sloan on a 9-yard quick pass, the junior would make it a four-point ballgame. Minutes later, senior RB Ray Davis would get in on the touchdown party, catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from Leary to put some distance between the Cats and Colonels.

In the battle of QB’s, Leary went 23-37 for 243 yards, four TD’s and one interception, while McKinney was 19-29 for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Up next for the Wildcats, Akron comes to town next Saturday for a 7:30 P.M. kickoff. EKU will play their home opener Saturday, hosting Western Carolina for a 6:00 kickoff at Roy Kidd Stadium.