Kentucky 34, Samford 3

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 18, 2012
Freshman Jalen Whitlow passed for one touchdown and ran for another, Raymond Sanders rushed for a career-high 123 yards and a TD and Kentucky blew out Samford 34-3 Saturday night to end an eight-game losing streak. The Wildcats (2-9) scored their highest point total since beating Kent State 47-14 on Sept. 8. Kentucky's skid led to the Nov. 4 firing of coach Joker Phillips, who will finish the season on Saturday at Tennessee. Whitlow completed 10 of 13 passes for 66 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Gene McCaskill. He also rushed for a 20-yard touchdown and finished with 59 yards on seven carries. Sanders rushed for a 14-yard touchdown that made it 24-3. Tristian Johnson followed with a 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Kentucky, which scored on six of its first eight drives, outgained Samford 455-102 including 342 rushing compared to minus-2 for Samford. Dyshawn Mobley rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries and Jonathan George added 76 on 17 attempts. Craig McIntosh kicked field goals of 35 and 43 yards as Kentucky won its third straight home finale. Cameron Yaw's 41-yard field goal provided the only points for Samford (7-4). To put Kentucky's win in perspective, consider these numbers: The Wildcats' 31 first-half points alone were their most since a 32-31 overtime loss to Western Kentucky that started their skid. Kentucky's 266 first-half yards were six more than it totaled in a 40-0 loss to Vanderbilt here two weeks ago, the breaking point leading to Phillips' firing the next day. Even more impressive, the Wildcats held Bulldogs running back Fabian Truss to just 37 yards a week after he rushed for a career-high 219 against Elon. And they hadn't held an opponent below 200 yards since limiting Akron to 172 on Sept. 18, 2010. It didn't matter that Kentucky was facing Football Championship Subdivision member Samford for the first time. After going winless for more than two months the Wildcats were just desperate for a victory and the Bulldogs entered the game on a two-game winning streak. Sentiment also drove Kentucky, which honored 19 seniors in a pregame ceremony. Though their presence has been somewhat overshadowed this season by 46 freshmen and sophomores playing substantial minutes, the underclassmen wanted to make sure the veterans' home finale was memorable. That feeling extended to Phillips, who chose to coach Kentucky' final two games but stressed all week that he didn't want to be a distraction on a night devoted to his departing players. McCaskill made his case for Kentucky's seniors on the opening drive. He capped a 14-play, 69-yard drive by pulling in Whitlow's 11-yard pass for a touchdown that set the tone for a performance last seen against Kent State. Whitlow made it 14-0 on the next possession with a nifty 20-yard touchdown run in which he initially hesitated, then cut through the middle and the right before getting outside and clearing the pile-on. It followed a bizarre play in which nobody - except Samford defensive end Brinson Porter - was sure if officials had blown the play dead. There was no whistle, Porter kept on charging and dropped Sanders for a 3-yard loss. That was one of few first-half highlights for the Bulldogs, who gained just 56 yards in the first half. Even when Samford recovered Sanders' goal-line fumble, its drive went nowhere and Greg Peranich's subsequent punt went just 31 yards. Sanders sprinted 14 yards for Kentucky's third TD four plays later for a 24-3 lead. Another miscue followed on the Bulldogs' next possession when Summerfield fumbled while being sacked by Donte Rumph. Tristian Johnson scooped up the loose ball and returned it 25 yards for the touchdown that made it 31-3. The Wildcats could have scored another touchdown when Demarco Robinson returned a punt 56 yards, but Rashad Cunningham was called for a personal foul.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests


Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker