By Austin Johnson
Prior to the kickoff, the coin flip, warmups, the catwalk, and tailgating football fans woke up with that special feeling. They woke up knowing that today was the first full Saturday of college football. As the lots filled up with fans ready to tailgate, the smell of charcoal grills firing up floated through the air. Everyone knew it was now officially football season in the bluegrass.
Family and fans of all ages greeted the football team as they made their way to the stadium, cheering them on to a hopeful victory over Toledo. As the last wildcat walked by, fans could feel the excitement of the brand new season. Of the possibility of another great if not better run towards a big bowl game.
Kentucky’s defense came out flat, letting Toledo march up the field and score early. In the first half the defense struggled to put pressure on Guadagni (Toledo’s QB) or contain him to the pocket. Guadagni’s scrabbling effort was a thorn in the Cats’ side all game, however in the second half Toledo’s offensive line started to succumb to pressure of the Cats’ Defense. The Cats picked up momentum in the second quarter, going into halftime with a 14-14 tie.
Coming out of halftime, the football team felt more energized, ready to take down the Rockets of Toledo. With a fumble recovery that led to a Chance Poore (PK) 46-yard go-ahead field goal, the Cats were on top. The lead would become bigger with a 32-yard leaping catch by Bryce Oliver (WR) from Terry Wilson (QB) that would give UK a 10-point lead.
Toledo would eventually score 3 points in the third quarter and then score a 40-yard touchdown run in the middle of the fourth quarter. Not too long though, Kentucky would convert an interception into a Wilson 2-yard touchdown pass to Josh Ali. That touchdown would clinch the 2019 season opener for the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
The final score: UK 38- TOLEDO 24
Terry Wilson finished the game with 19 of 26 passes completed for 246 yards. AJ Rose would get 16 carries for 64 yards and Kavosiey Smoke racked up 78 yards in rushing with seven carries.
Kentucky wins their home opener for the fourth straight year.
Next week (9/7) the Wildcats host the Eastern Michigan Eagles at 7:30 pm at Kroger Field.
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