NCAAF Game Recap - Middle Tennessee at Kentucky
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:00 PM EST

Cit
17
Ala
50
F
Duke
6
Clem
35
F
Syr
3
ND
36
F
Ind
20
Mich
31
F
UMass
27
UGA
66
F
Kans
40
Okla
55
F
WVU
41
OkSt
45
F
Ariz
28
WaSt
69
F
OHSt
52
MD
51
F OT
Rice
10
LSU
42
F
Cin
13
UCF
38
F
IASt
10
Tex
24
F
UtSt
29
ColSt
24
F
Idaho
10
Fla
63
F
PSU
20
Rut
7
F
OreSt
23
Wash
42
F
MidTN
23
KY
34
F
Utah
30
Colo
7
F
BC
21
FlaSt
22
F
Boise
45
NM
14
F
NW
24
Minn
14
F
Stan
Cal
PPD
Ark
6
MisSt
52
F
WestMI
41
Ball
42
F OT
Buff
17
Ohio
52
F
MiaOH
13
NIU
7
F
Toled
56
Kent
34
F
Tul
17
Hou
48
F
FlAtl
38
NorTx
41
F
Mem
28
SMU
18
F
MSU
6
Neb
9
F
TCU
16
Bayl
9
F
Pitt
34
Wake
13
F
SoFL
17
Temp
27
F
Colg
14
Army
28
F
NCSt
52
Lou
10
F
VMI
14
OD
77
F
FLInt
42
Char
35
F
GASt
17
App
45
F
UTSA
0
Marsh
23
F
Nev
21
SJSU
12
F
ULMon
17
ArkSt
31
F
WCU
26
UNC
49
F
TxSt
7
Troy
12
F
USC
27
UCLA
34
F
LaTec
20
SMiss
21
F
TxTch
6
K St
21
F
Iowa
63
Ill
0
F
MiaFL
38
VaTec
14
F
Mizzu
50
Tenn
17
F
Wisc
47
Purd
44
F(2OT)
Tuls
29
Navy
37
F
UVA
27
GATec
30
F OT
BGSU
21
Akr
6
F
AF
27
Wyo
35
F
Lib
0
Aub
53
F
SoAl
38
ULLaf
48
F
GaSo
41
CoCar
17
F
UAB
20
TxAM
41
F
UConn
21
ECU
55
F
UTEP
16
W Ky
40
F
Miss
29
Vand
36
F OT
Chat
9
SCar
49
F
NMSt
10
BYU
45
F
SDSU
14
Fres
23
F
AzSt
29
Oreg
31
F
UNLV
28
Hawaii
35
F

Nov 17, 2018, 12:00 PM EST

Final

1

2

3

4

T

Middle Tennessee (7-4)

0

10

6

7

23

(20) Kentucky (8-3)

17

7

7

3

34

Defense helps No. 20 Kentucky outlast Middle Tennessee 34-23
Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:34 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Mike Edwards' early takeaways helped stake Kentucky to its initial lead. Linebacker Josh Allen then made sure the 20th-ranked Wildcats held on with clutch sacks late.

Seniors are expected to stand out in their home finales, and veterans certainly factored in a tenser-than-expected victory against Middle Tennessee.

Edwards' two turnovers led to Kentucky's first two touchdowns, and the Wildcats overcame a second-half lull to make several fourth-quarter defensive stops and escape with a 34-23 win on Saturday.

Kentucky (8-3) ended a two-game slide but had to survive the Blue Raiders' rally within 31-23 early in the fourth. Allen, the Southeastern Conference's sacks leader, dropped Brent Stockstill for a 7-yard loss on fourth down and set up Miles Butler's 32-yard field goal with 4:01 remaining for an 11-point edge.

A defensive facemask penalty helped the Blue Raiders (7-4) reach the Kentucky 5-yard line in the final minute before consecutive sacks of Stockstill by Allen and Jamar Watson totaling 16 yards ended their final chance. Allen had a career-high 15 tackles and two of Kentucky's seven sacks to become the Wildcats' single-season (13) and career sacks leader (27.5).

"I can't thank the linemen enough for doing their jobs and allowing me to have opportunities to make plays like that," Allen said.

Edwards provided the initial defensive boost by returning an interception 66 yards for a TD 1:27 into the game. Then he stripped Zack Dobson of the ball on MTSU's next drive to set up Benny Snell Jr. for the first of his two TDs and a 31-10 cushion that Kentucky eventually needed to earn its eighth victory, its most in the regular season since 1984. The 2007 squad earned its eighth win in the Music City Bowl.

"I'm pleased to get the eighth victory, but (it was) definitely not easy," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "We knew it was going to be a tough, hard-fought game and they kind of beat us at our game. They kept the ball, possessed the ball the entire game and it kind of got a little aggravating."

Fortunately for Kentucky, seniors saved the game on a day when 16 of them were honored. And the contributions weren't limited to defense.

Tight end C.J. Conrad caught an 11-yard, second-quarter scoring pass from Terry Wilson on a play that seemed destined for a big loss of yardage. Wilson spun away from the pressure before rolling left and threading an off-balance pass through several defenders to Conrad in the back of the end zone for a 24-7 lead.

Stockstill completed 30 of 33 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns and Chaton rushed for 98 yards and two scores. But those turnovers forced MTSU to play catch-up as its four-game winning streak ended.

"We didn't flinch," MTSU coach Rick Stockstill said. "With six or seven minutes left in the game we made it a one-score game, and we couldn't finish it off."

EMOTIONAL DEBUT

Suiting up would've been rewarding enough for Kentucky sophomore defensive end Josh Paschal, who hadn't played this season while undergoing treatment for a malignant melanoma on the bottom of his foot. Paschal went on to record his first tackle with a third-down stop in the second quarter.

"It felt good just to wipe some dust off, it's been a while," said Paschal, who underwent three surgeries and is undergoing immunotherapy every four weeks.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky needed this win and should stay in the AP Top 25.

THE TAKEAWAY

Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders outgained Kentucky 392 yards to 324 and seemed poised to tie the game late, but couldn't break through deep in Wildcats territory. Those turnovers on their first two possessions dug a quick hole they couldn't quite escape. Stockstill became the NCAA's 25th player to reach 100 career TDs.

Kentucky: The Wildcats needed a lift, though it was tense. They finally surpassed 20 points for the first time since beating South Carolina 24-10 on Sept. 29. The offense and defense stalled, before Allen came up with stops that sealed the win.

UP NEXT

Middle Tennessee hosts UAB on Saturday in a matchup against Conference USA's West leader.

Kentucky visits Louisville on Saturday night in search of a nine-win season and second rivalry win in three seasons.

---

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Passing

MidTN Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
B. Stockstill 33 30 90.9 3 293 34 1 121.3
KY Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
T. Wilson 14 10 71.4 1 121 29 0 121.4

Rushing

MidTN Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
C. Mobley 19 98 5.2 16 0
T. West 5 25 5.0 9 0
KY Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
B. Snell 26 116 4.5 17 2
A. Rose 7 48 6.9 31 0

Receiving

MidTN Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
T. Lee 7 85 12.1 26 1
C. Mobley 5 62 12.4 24 1
KY Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
C. Conrad 4 51 12.8 17 1
J. Rigg 1 29 29.0 29 0

Fumbles

MidTN F FL
B. Stockstill 1 0
KY F FL
T. Wilson 1 0
L. Bowden 1 0

Returning

MidTN KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
T. Lee 0 - 0 0 1 4.0 0 4
KY KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
L. Bowden 4 21.5 0 27 0 - 0 0

Punting

MidTN Punt Yds Avg LgPu
M. Bonadies 2 64 32.0 34
KY Punt Yds Avg LgPu
M. Duffy 2 67 33.5 47

Takeaways

KY Int Yds InTD
M. Edwards 1 66 1

Team Stats Comparison

MidTN KY
Points For 23 34
Total Yards 392 324
Rushing Yards 99 203
Passing Yards 293 121
Passing Completions / Attempts 30/33 10/14
Turnovers 2 0
Interceptions Thrown 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 2/1 2/0
First Downs 24 15
Penalties - Yards 6/57 6/51
Time Of Possession 22:22 38:38
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 4/12 4/10
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 2/4 0/1
Punts - Average Yards 2/32 2/34

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter MidTN KY
KY 1:27 TD Mike Edwards 66 yd interception return (Miles Butler kick) 0 7
KY 6:24 TD Benny Snell 7 yd run (Miles Butler kick) 0 14
KY 13:25 FG Miles Butler 38 yd FG 0 17
2nd Quarter MidTN KY
MidTN 3:40 TD Chaton Mobley 6 yd pass from Brent Stockstill (Crews Holt kick) 7 17
KY 6:20 TD C.J. Conrad 11 yd pass from Terry Wilson (Miles Butler kick) 7 24
MidTN 13:56 FG Crews Holt 33 yd FG 10 24
3rd Quarter MidTN KY
KY 4:30 TD Benny Snell 6 yd run (Miles Butler kick) 10 31
MidTN 10:28 TD Ty Lee 10 yd pass from Brent Stockstill (missed kick) 16 31
4th Quarter MidTN KY
MidTN 1:42 TD Patrick Smith 5 yd pass from Brent Stockstill (Crews Holt kick) 23 31
KY 10:59 FG Miles Butler 32 yd FG 23 34

Game Information

Stadium: Kroger Field, Lexington, Kentucky
Attendance: 47,535
Game Time:
Weather: