LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -- Kentucky rushed for a school-record 462 yards Saturday and pounded UT Martin 50-7 in the rain to become bowl eligible for the fourth straight season.
Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden Jr. (1) dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against UT Martin, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Bowden eclipsed the 100-yard plateau for the fifth time this season as the Wildcats shattered a single-game school record with 462 yards rushing. Kentucky has rushed for 863 yards in the past two games.
Kentucky (6-5) finished with 479 total yards, became bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and can improve its postseason status in the regular-season finale against Louisville next Saturday.
Bowden made his sixth consecutive start at quarterback and guided the Wildcats to four victories during that span.
Bowden didn’t attempt his first carry until the second quarter and used a 58-yard run to set up his own 2-yard TD burst to give the Wildcats a 22-0 lead with 5:36 remaining in the first half. Bowden finished with 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the opening half.
AJ Rose added 105 yards on six carries with one touchdown for Kentucky. Overall, six running backs rushed for 40 yards or more and Travis Tisdale and Tyler Markray each scored their first career touchdowns - both coming in the fourth quarter.
The FCS Skyhawks (7-5) scored their lone touchdown on Jaimiee Bowe’s 6-yard run with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
On the first play from scrimmage, UT Martin center Austin Newsom snapped the ball over quarterback John Bachus III’s head, leading to an intentional grounding call and a safety for the Wildcats. On the Skyhawks’ next series, Yusuf Corker recovered a bad snap in the end zone, giving the hosts a 9-0 lead 2:08 into the contest. The Wildcats scored 16 points in four plays to open the game.
According to a report by 247 Sports on Saturday, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops met with Florida State University officials in Cincinnati last week concerning the Seminoles’ coaching vacancy and has withdrawn his name from consideration. Stoops served as defensive coordinator for the Seminoles from 2010-12.
Kentucky: The Wildcats held the Skyhawks to just 204 total yards, including 10 in the first half. Kentucky has limited its past six opponents to just 305 yards or less. Kentucky’s defense forced five fumbles and scooped up two of those miscues. The Wildcats had 11 tackles for loss and collected five sacks totaling minus-24 yards.
UT Martin: Coming off a 2-9 campaign, the Skyhawks finished with a 7-5 record and finished third in the Ohio Valley Conference. UT Martin fell to 1-28 against FBS teams and the lone win over a higher division opponent was a 20-17 victory over Memphis in 2012. Kentucky defeated the Skyhawks 59-14 in the previous meeting between the two teams in 2014.
Kentucky: The Wildcats close out the regular season when they host Louisville on Saturday.