Lexington, Ky. — Backup quarterback Sawyer Smith threw two touchdown passes in relief of injured Terry Wilson, who rushed for a TD before hurting his left leg, and Kentucky rolled past Eastern Michigan 38-17 on Saturday night.
Wilson’s 2-yard TD run in the third quarter put the Wildcats (2-0) up 24-3 before he was carted off later with the injury following a horse-collar tackle by EMU defensive lineman Turan Rush, who was flagged on a play with offsetting penalties. Wilson exited to cheers after teammates offered supportive handshakes. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Wilson would have an MRI on Sunday but added, “it didn’t look good.”
Smith, a junior transfer from Troy, came in and hit Ahmad Wagner for a 54-yard touchdown and Lynn Bowden for the final 2-yard TD with 54 seconds remaining. A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke rushed for TDs of 8 and 32 yards, respectively, in a game the Wildcats led throughout.
Kentucky outgained the Eagles (1-1) 461-386, including a 239-49 rushing edge. But the Wildcats committed seven penalties for 84 yards, several of which snuffed first-half chances to put the game out of reach.
“There’s just a lot of things to clean up, and we will,” Stoops said. “They know we can be a lot better and that’s a good thing.”
Eagles quarterback Mike Glass III threw TD passes of 26 and 7 yards and completed 34 of 53 attempts for 337 yards.
The Eagles were never in this game because they couldn’t stop Kentucky’s offense. Glass hit Line Latu and Bryson Cannon for TDs and surpassed but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice before halftime. This followed a near-perfect opener in which he completed 20 of 22 passes for 188 yards with three TDs. And it spoke volumes about how Kentucky’s defense pressured him and stifled the run game.
“Kentucky plays great defense,” coach Chris Creighton said. “Their scheme is built from the inside out. They have great, strong players up front and take away the inside run.”