Benny Snell Jr. became the Kentucky Wildcats’ all-time leading rusher to cap off what was an historic season in Lexington.
Snell’s 144-yard performance helped vault him to the top spot in program history, and he aided the Wildcats in defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl, 27-24.
The victory not only supplanted Snell in program lore, but the season as well. Their win in the Citrus Bowl gave them their 10th win of the season. It’s only the third time that they’ve won 10 games in their history and the first time since all the way back in 1977. So Mark Stoops is now in the company of Frank Curci and the great Bear Bryant as the only coaches to lead the Cats to 10 wins or more in a single season.
Penn State made a late rally in the fourth quarter, scoring 17 of their 24 points. Trace McSorley accounted for two of the touchdowns, running for one and throwing the other to Pat Freiermuth. Jake Pinegar hit a field goal to make it a 3-point game, but some self-inflicted errors eventually lead to PSU’s demise.
Benny Snell may have had the leading role but Lynn Bowden excelled, as well. Bowden had a 58-yard punt return touchdown to extend UK’s lead from 3-0 to 10-0 late in the 1st quarter. Bowden had 84 yards receiving as well on a game-high five receptions, and racked up 173 all-purpose yards when including his kick and punt return performances.
Terry Wilson did a fine job himself under center. Wilson threw just 15 times on the day and racked up 121 yards, but made no mistakes. So he did his job and did it well. He ran the ball 10 times for 29 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Josh Allen excelled (what else is new?) as did Kash Daniel (again, what else is new?). Allen picked up three sacks, a game-high and allowed him to finish with 17 on the season. Allen also had four tackles, three TFL and a QB hit. Daniel, meanwhile, had eight tackles, a sack and two TFL. DeAndre Square and T.J. Carter also picked up a sack each on the day to give UK six total.
Kentucky can take solace in one of their best efforts in program history now. Without Snell and Allen, as well as a few others, it’s tough to imagine them hitting these heights again next season. But 2018 will live on for a long time for BBN, and who knows? Perhaps something is percolating in Lexington.