2015 Kentucky Wildcats football team

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2015 Kentucky Wildcats football
Kentucky Wildcats logo
Conference Southeastern Conference
Division Eastern Division
2015 record 5–7 (2–6 SEC)
Head coach Mark Stoops (3rd season)
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson (1st season)
Offensive scheme Air Raid
Defensive coordinator D. J. Eliot (3rd season)
Base defense 3-4
Home stadium Commonwealth Stadium
(Capacity: 61,000)
Seasons
← 2014
2016 →
2015 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 25 Florida x   7 1         10 4  
No. 22 Tennessee   5 3         9 4  
Georgia   5 3         10 3  
Vanderbilt   2 6         4 8  
Kentucky   2 6         5 7  
Missouri   1 7         5 7  
South Carolina   1 7         3 9  
West Division
No. 1 Alabama x$#^   7 1         14 1  
No. 10 Ole Miss   6 2         10 3  
Arkansas   5 3         8 5  
No. 16 LSU   5 3         9 3  
Texas A&M   4 4         8 5  
Mississippi State   4 4         9 4  
Auburn   2 6         7 6  
Championship: Alabama 29, Florida 15
  • # – College Football Playoff champion
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2015 Kentucky Wildcats football team (variously "Kentucky", "UK", or "Wildcats") represents the University of Kentucky in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Wildcats compete in its 122nd season and 82nd as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as part of its Eastern Division. The team is led by head coach Mark Stoops, which is his third year coaching the team, and the Wildcats play its home games at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.

After the completion of the 2014 season, the Wildcats signed one of their highest rated recruiting classes in February. They completed their spring practice in April.

Pre-season[edit]

Previous season[edit]

In 2014–2015, the Wildcats lost their final six games of the season after starting the season 5-1, completing their second year under Mark Stoops at 5-7 and 2-6 in the SEC (6th-East). They lost to in-state rival Louisville 40-44 to end the season, missing out on their fourth consecutive bowl game since the 2010–2011 season when they lost to Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Fall camp[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops enters his third year as the Wildcat's head coach for the 2015 season. During his previous two seasons he led the Wildcats to an overall record of 7 wins and 17 losses. Despite the losing record, he doubled his win total from his first season to his second.

On November 30, 2014 Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown accepted the Head Coach position at Troy, where he was an assistant from 2006 to 2009.[1][2] In his place Kentucky hired West Virginia Co-offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson on December 19, 2014.[3][4]

Special Teams coach Craig Naivar accepted a position at Houston under his former colleague Tom Herman on December 18, 2014.[5] The position he vacated was filled by California assistant Andy Buh on February 4, 2015.[6] Stoops announced with Buh's hiring that the special teams would be a joint effort among multiple assistant coaches.[6]

Name Position Consecutive season at
Kentucky in current position
Mark Stoops Head coach 3rd
Shannon Dawson Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks 1st
D. J. Eliot Defensive Coordinator, Inside Linebackers 3rd
Derrick Ansley Defensive backs 3rd
Jimmy Brumbaugh Defensive Line 3rd
Andy Buh Outside linebackers 1st
Tommy Mainord Wide receivers 3rd
Vince Marrow Tight Ends, Recruiting Coordinator 3rd
John Schlarman Offensive Line 3rd
Chad Scott Running backs 3rd
Erik Korem Strength and Conditioning 3rd
Reference:

Transfers[edit]

Third string quarterback Maxwell Smith announced on January 11 that he would transfer to San Diego State for his senior season.[7]

On January 14 running back Braylon Heard announced he would forgo his last season of eligibility and enter his name into the 2015 NFL Draft.[8][9] Heard rushed for 366 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry in 2014.

On February 4 running back Josh Clemons announced he will transfer from the program in May after he receives his degree.[10]

2015 signing class[edit]

Prior to National Signing Day on February 4, 2015, four players enrolled for the spring semester in order to participate in spring practice[11] The early enrollments from high school included offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei, tight end C.J. Conrad, defensive end Kengera Daniel, and linebacker Jordan Jones.[11]

On National Signing Day, Alabama signed 18 additional players out of high school that completed the 2015 recruiting class. The class was highlighted by 2 players from the "ESPN 300": No. 214 Marcus Walker; and No. 244 Eli Brown.[12] Kentucky signed a top-35 class according to Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com.[13][14]

In addition to those signed as part of the 2015 class, on December 12, 2014 Nebraska transfers, tight end Greg Hart and linebacker Courtney Love, announced they would enroll and join Kentucky's football team.[15] Due to health concerns of relatives, both players plan to apply for hardship waivers that would allow them to play in 2015 without sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules.[15]

Returning starters[edit]

Offense[edit]

Roster[edit]

2015 Kentucky Wildcats football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
WR 1 Ryan Timmons Jr
WR 2 Dorian Baker So
RB 3 Jojo Kemp Jr
RB 4 Mikel Horton So
WR 6 Blake Bone So
QB 7 Drew Barker Fr
WR 8 Jabari Greenwood Fr
WR 9 Garrett Johnson So
WR 10 Thaddeus Snodgrass Fr
WR 11 Tavin Richardson Fr
QB 12 Reese Phillips So
WR 13 Jeff Badet So
QB 14 Patrick Towles Jr
TE 15 C.J. Conrad Fr
QB 16 Davis Mattingly Fr
WR 17 Alexander Montgomery So
RB 18 Stanley Williams So
WR 20 Ryan Kendall Fr
RB 22 Sihiem King Fr
WR 31 David Bouvier Fr
RB 32 William Mahone So
FB 48 Will Collins Jr
TE 49 Tanner Fink Fr
OG 55 David Baumer Fr
OG 56 Sullivan Simpson Fr
OG 57 Zach Myers Jr
OT 60 Calvin Taylor Fr
OG 61 Tristen Salyer Fr
C 62 Dylan Greenburg So
OG 64 George Asafo-Adjei Fr
OG 65 Jervontius Stallings Fr
OG 67 Jarrett LaRubbio Fr
OG 68 Nick Haynes So
OG 69 Ramsey Meyers So
OT 70 Jordan Swindle Sr
OG 71 Logan Stenberg Fr
C 72 Jon Toth Jr
OT 73 Kyle Meadows So
OG 74 Cole Mosier So
OG 75 Zach West Sr
OT 76 Levon Livingston Fr
OG 77 Mason Wolfe Fr
WR 80 C.J. Walker Fr
WR 82 T.V. Williams So
TE 85 Greg Hart Redshirt.svg So
TE 86 Darryl Long Fr
WR 87 Joey Herrick Sr
WR 88 Charles Walker So
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
CB 1 A.J. Stamps Sr
CB 3 Fred Tiller Sr
S 4 Marcus Walker Fr
CB 5 Kendall Randolph So
DE 6 Jason Hatcher Jr
LB 7 Daron Blaylock Sr
LB 8 Kobie Walker Fr
LB 10 Tyler Brause Sr
CB 11 J.D. Harmon Jr
LB 14 Dorian Hendrix Fr
S 15 Marcus McWilson Jr
CB 16 Cody Quinn Sr
S 17 Zack Blaylock Jr
S 18 Glenn Faulkner Injured Sr
DE 20 Kengera Daniel Fr
CB 21 Chris Westry Fr
LB 22 Khalid Henderson Sr
DB 23 Jared Tucker Fr
DB 24 Blake McClain Jr
S 25 Darius West Fr
CB 26 Will Jackson Fr
S 27 Mike Edwards Fr
CB 28 Kei Beckham Fr
CB 29 Derrick Baity Fr
CB 31 Darien Jennings Fr
LB 32 Eli Brown Fr
LB 33 Ryan Flannigan Sr
LB 34 Jordan Jones Fr
DE 35 Denzil Ware Fr
DT 36 Jacob Hyde So
LB 37 Spencer Foy Redshirt.svg So
LB 38 Alex Brownell Fr
LB 39 Elijah Barnett Fr
LB 40 Nico Firios Fr
LB 41 Josh Allen Fr
LB 42 Blake Spencer Fr
LB 43 Logan Blue Fr
LB 44 De'Niro Laster Redshirt.svg So
LB 45 Josh Forrest Sr
LB 46 Connor John Fr
DT 47 Jabari Johnson Sr
LB 51 Courtney Love Redshirt.svg So
DT 67 Cory Johnson Sr
DT 69 Matt Elam So
DT 78 Zane Williams Jr
DT 90 Melvin Lewis Sr
DE 91 Farrington Huguenin Sr
DE 92 Alvonte Bell Jr
DT 94 Courtney Miggins Fr
DT 96 Regie Meant So
DE 98 Tymere Dubose Fr
DT 99 Adrian Middleton Fr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
H 13 Jared Leet Jr
PK, P 9 Landon Foster Jr
LS 53 Blake Best Fr
P 93 Bryan Kirshe Fr
PK 95 Miles Butler Fr
PK 99 Austin MacGinnis Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Derrick Ansley
    Defensive Backs
  • Shannon Dawson
    Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Jimmy Brumbaugh
    Defensive Line
  • D. J. Eliot
    Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Tommy Mainord
    Wide Receivers
  • Vince Marrow
    Tight Ends
  • John Schlarman
    Offensive Line
  • Chad Scott
    Running Backs

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Roster
Last update: May 7, 2015

Depth chart[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Kentucky announced their 2015 football schedule on October 14, 2014. The 2015 schedule consist of eight home games and four away games in the regular season for the first time since the 2007 season. The Wildcats will host SEC foes Auburn, Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee, and will travel to Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.[17]

The Wildcats will host all non–conference play against Louisiana-Lafayette and Charlotte (both for the first time), and in–state rivals Eastern Kentucky and Louisville. The match–up against long–rival Tennessee will be held in October for the first time since 1909. Kentucky will also host Auburn on a Thursday night for the first home game on a Thursday night in program history.

Date Time Opponent Site TV Result Attendance
September 5 7:00 p.m. Louisiana–Lafayette* Commonwealth StadiumLexington, KY ESPNU W 40–33   62,933
September 12 7:30 p.m. at South Carolina Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, SC SECN W 26–22   82,178
September 19 7:30 p.m. Florida Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY SECN L 9–14   63,040
September 26 7:30 p.m. No. 25 Missouri Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY SECN W 21–13   58,008
October 3 7:30 p.m. Eastern Kentucky*dagger Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY SECN W 34–27 OT  63,380
October 15 7:00 p.m. Auburn Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY ESPN L 27–30   63,407
October 24 7:30 p.m. at Mississippi State Davis Wade StadiumStarkville, MS (Rivalry) SECN L 16–42   61,168
October 31 7:30 p.m. Tennessee Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY (Rivalry) SECN L 21–52   60,886
November 7 Noon at Georgia Sanford StadiumAthens, GA SECN L 3–27   92,746
November 14 4:00 p.m. at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt StadiumNashville, TN (Rivalry) SECN L 17–21   30,301
November 21 7:30 p.m. Charlotte* Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY SECN W 58–10   56,195
November 28 Noon Louisville* Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY (Governor's Cup) SECN L 24–38   62,512
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.
Schedule Source:[18]

Game summaries[edit]

Vs. Louisiana–Lafayette[edit]

Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
UL–Lafayette 0 7 101633
Kentucky 14 10 9740

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

  • Date: September 5, 2015
  • Game time: 7:00 PM
  • Game weather: 88 deg., Sunny
  • Game attendance: 62,933
  • Referee: Matt Austin
  • TV announcers (ESPNU): Anish Shroff (Play-by-play), Ahmad Brooks (Analyst)
  • Sources:[19][20]
Game information

Kentucky overcame a three-touchdown comeback by Louisiana-Lafayette with a late touchdown to defeat the Ragin' Cajuns 40-33 in the season opener for both teams. This was the first game in the newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium. The $120 million renovation includes player amenities such as a recruiting room and patio atop a tunnel leading to a new synthetic turf field. The Wildcats initially gave a sellout crowd of 62,933 something to feel good about on the field and in their seats before things turned sour.

Stanley "Boom" Williams' ran for a 75-yard TD on the game's first play. Williams' speed helped the Wildcats deliver just 16 seconds in. Last year's team rushing leader blew through a big hole up the middle and off for a big TD that brought a roar from the packed house before they got comfortable in their seats. He finished with 135 yards on 10 carries.

Patrick Towles' five-yard touchdown pass to Blake Bone provided a 33-10 lead late in the third quarter. But Austin MacGinnis' missed extra point opened the door for the Ragin' Cajuns to rally with TD runs of 56 and 26 yards by Torrey Pierce and a 23-yarder by Jalen Nixon.

Elijah McGuire's game-tying two point conversion run with 7:36 left created more anxiety, especially for Kentucky when Towles fumbled a fourth-and-1 snap at Louisiana's 49. The junior somehow recovered the ball for a two-yard gain to extend the drive. Five plays later Horton's 12-yard run with 57 seconds remaining put Kentucky ahead for good.

Josh Forrest intercepted Brooks Haack's Hail Mary pass as time expired to preserve Kentucky's narrow win on a wild but long night that included a faulty game clock and even lightning in the near distance along with the drone crash.

Towles passed for 257 yards and TDs of 35 yards to Garrett Johnson, 37 to Jeff Badet and Bone.

At South Carolina[edit]

Kentucky Wildcats vs South Carolina Gamecocks – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Kentucky 14 10 0226
South Carolina 7 0 6922

at Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, South Carolina

Game information

It was a tale of two halves, with Kentucky's offense scoring 24 unanswered first-half points before the Wildcat defense made big play after big play in the second half to secure Kentucky's first win at South Carolina since 1999. Mark Stoops started the week reminding the Wildcats they hadn't had a winning road trip in his three-year tenure. They ended the week celebrating a 26 to 22 road victory at South Carolina on Saturday in front of 82,178 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The victory for Kentucky broke a 22-game losing streak in road games with the Wildcats last road win coming at Louisville in September 2010. Kentucky's last SEC road victory was at Georgia in November 2009. UK is now 2-0 on the season and starts conference play with a victory for the first time since defeating Arkansas in 2007 in Fayetteville.

Heading into halftime with a 24-7 lead, South Carolina scored the first 15 points of the second half, including three Elliott Fry field goals and a 33-yard touchdown pass from Perry Orth, who was playing for injured Gamecock quarterback Conner Mitch, to Jerrell Adams, to cut the UK lead to 24-22. The Gamecocks and head coach Steve Spurrier decided to go for the two-point conversion to try to tie the game before freshman Denzil Ware scooped up a fumble and returned it 98 yards for two points to give UK a 26-22 lead with 8:09 to go in the game. After a short drive by the UK offense, South Carolina started another drive on a tired Kentucky defense before another freshman made a big play with rookie cornerback Chris Westry earning his first-career interception to put the Wildcats back in the driver's seat. The Wildcat offense, who struggled for much of the second half, sealed the victory from there, taking the final 4:32 off the clock, including a key 11-yard quarterback draw by Patrick Towles on third down to drain the Gamecocks of timeouts. Sophomore Stanley "Boom" Williams took over from there with a 25-yard rush to end the game.

Vs. Florida[edit]

Florida Gators vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Florida 7 7 0014
Kentucky 3 0 069

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

Game information

Despite a sparkling defensive effort in which the Kentucky football team held Florida scoreless in the second half, a fourth-quarter rally fell short as Florida prevailed 14-9 on Saturday night in a front of a sold-out Commonwealth Stadium. Trailing 14-3 going into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats made it a one-score game behind two Austin MacGinnis field goals and had the ball twice over the final five minutes in an attempt to score the go-ahead touchdown. Kentucky's final drive of the night began on its own 20-yard line and was dissipated by a Quincy Wilson interception on fourth-and-27 to lift the Gators to the win.

Kentucky's defense stymied the Gator attack for the entire second half. Five Wildcats registered six or more tackles on the night, led by Khalid Henderson's nine stops. UK posted three tackles for a loss and J.D. Harmon picked off a pass in the end zone to halt a Florida drive in the middle of the third quarter that would have pushed UF's lead to three scores. The interception sparked a momentum change in the game as UK would go on to put together back-to-back scoring drives.

UK quarterback Patrick Towles was 8 of 24 on the night with 126 yards and two interceptions. Running back Stanley "Boom" Williams rushed 16 times for 80 yards – snapping his three-game 100-yard rushing streak. Dorian Baker led the receivers with four hauls for 38 yards, including a big fourth-down catch late in the game. Florida's Will Grier threw for 125 yards and rushed for a team-high 61 yards that included a 1-yard touchdown scamper in the opening quarter.

Following Harmon's interception in the third quarter, Towles' 33-yard scramble highlighted a 75-yard drive by the Wildcats to inch closer at 14-6 with 14:50 in the fourth. MacGinnis connected on a 22-yard field goal for the Wildcats to make it a one-possession game. After the UK defense forced a three-and-out, MacGinnis made it a five-point contest with 10:57 to go with a 45-yard field goal. Towles found Jeff Badet for a 45-yard strike down the left sideline to push the Wildcats into field-goal range as the drive's highlight.

Following UK's third field goal of the game, Florida managed one first down before being forced to punt with 8:34 remaining. Faced with a third-and-10 from its own 22, Towles found Baker open on the right sideline to keep the drive alive. Williams followed with a 14-yard rush, but the drive stalled at UK's 48. Punter Landon Foster pinned the Gators inside the 20 with 6:10 to go. The Gators picked up two first downs and killed 3:44 of clock before punting back to the Wildcats, which began the final drive at their own 20. Towles and Baker hooked up for a 20-yard gain on fourth-and-3 at the Kentucky 27 to keep the drive alive. Florida sacked Towles for a loss of 12 on third-and-10 from the UK 47 and then the Wildcats committed a false start. Towels' deep ball down the left side line intended for Ryan Timmons was picked off by Wilson to preserve the Gators' victory.

Vs. Missouri[edit]

#25 Missouri Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Missouri 7 0 3313
Kentucky 0 7 7721

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

Game information

Patrick Towles guided Kentucky to two second-half touchdowns while pacing the Kentucky football team to a 21-13 victory over No. 25 Missouri. Towles led UK to its first league victory at the New Commonwealth Stadium and its first win over a ranked opponent since 2010 when Kentucky defeated No. 9 South Carolina. The win over the Tigers signified the first win over a top-25 opponent in the Mark Stoops era.

Towles directed scoring drives in the third and fourth quarters to ignite the offensive effort in the second half. The junior gunslinger found CJ Conrad for a 24-yard strike before connecting with Dorian Baker with less than seven minutes to play to give the Wildcats a 14-point lead it would not relinquish. Towles had his most consistent game of the season, connecting on 22-of-27 passes for 249 yards with the two touchdown passes. He also added a 14-yard scamper for a score in the opening half.

Defensively, C.J. Johnson paced the Wildcats with 11 tackles, besting his career high by five. Senior linebacker Josh Forrest added nine tackles, while Jason Hatcher posted eight stops to aid the stout defensive effort. Kentucky yielded just 14 points per game through its opening three games against SEC foes.

Kentucky, which had not won against Mizzou since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012, had a number of player milestones as well. With his 6-yard carry with 1:24 remaining in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory, running back JoJo Kemp became the 34th Wildcat to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. The junior led the UK attack on the ground, racking up 66 yards on 13 attempts. Garrett Johnson led the team in receiving with a season-high 119 yards, including a long of 35 yards that matched his season best. Conrad had a breakout game, not only recording his first career catch but also his first career touchdown with 55 yards of offense through the air. Baker also had a standout game, matching his career high of 51 yards and recording the second touchdown of his career.

Following a rocky start to the drive that found the Wildcats in a first-and-29 situation, Towles found Johnson for consecutive 20-plus-yard throws to move the chains and get UK into Missouri territory for the first time in the contest. Kentucky continued to cruise downfield, closing out the quarter on the 14-yard line. The short break did not derail the Wildcats as Towles used the opening play of the second quarter to dodge and weave through the Tiger defense for a rushing touchdown. That knotted the score at seven apiece. Much like the start of the game, the second half started slow before Missouri struck late in the third quarter. However, the Tigers were left to settle for a field goal in lieu of a touchdown with 6:04 remaining, with Andrew Baggett sending a 39-yarder through the uprights to give MU a slight 10-7 edge.

Kemp acted as the catalyst for the team, as three of his carries totaled a combined 37 yards, giving UK a first-and-goal late in the third quarter. Though Kemp moved the offense down the field for the bulk of the drive, it was Conrad who would complete it for the Wildcats, pulling down a perfect 24-yard toss from Towles for the first touchdown of his career. With the addition of the extra point, Kentucky was able to take its first lead of the game with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, leading by a count of 14-10.

Vs. (FCS) Eastern Kentucky[edit]

Eastern Kentucky vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Eastern Kentucky 0 6 714027
Kentucky 7 0 614734

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

  • Date: October 3, 2015
  • Game time: 7:30 PM
  • Game weather: 50 deg., Light rain
  • Game attendance: 63,380
  • Referee: David Smith
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Mike Couzens (Play-by-play), Cole Cubelic (Analyst)
  • Sources:[27][28]
Game information

Despite trailing by 14 points with less than eight minutes in the fourth quarter, the Kentucky football team celebrated its 100th Homecoming anniversary at The New CWS in thrilling fashion, notching a 34-27 comeback overtime victory over in-state foe Eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky rallied from a 27-13 deficit late in the fourth quarter with back-to-back game-saving drives. Facing a fourth-and-3 at the end of regulation, Patrick Towles stood in the face of a blitz and found Dorian Baker for a 5-yard touchdown to force overtime.

The duo connected again in overtime with a 3-yard pitch-and-catch to take a 34-27 lead. CJ Johnson, who recorded 19 tackles, the most by a defensive lineman in program history, fittingly sealed the outcome with a game-clinching sack. Eight of Johnson's 19 tackles were solo stops, including a sack and two-and-a-half tackles for loss. Ryan Flannigan was one tackle off his career best with 11 tackles, Josh Forrest recorded double-digit tackles with 10 stops on the night, and Farrington Huguenin blocked a field goal and recovered a fumble.

Coupled with 2014's opening five games, it marks the first time that UK has been 4-1 for two consecutive seasons since 1976–77.

Towles rebounded from a two-interception first half to lead the offense for the Wildcats, connecting on 29-of-42 pass attempts for 329 yards and three touchdowns to go along with a rushing score. Towles surpassed the 300-yard mark for the first time this season and the fourth of his career. The duo of Baker and Blake Bone carried the offense in receiving with 86 and 85 yards, respectively. Both bested their career highs by more than 20 yards each, and Baker's two touchdowns, which included the game-tying and game-winning catches, is a career best for the wide receiver.

The Wildcats retain an unblemished all-time record against the Colonels and advance to 4-1 on the season with the victory.

Vs. Auburn[edit]

Auburn vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Auburn 14 9 0730
Kentucky 7 3 71027

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

  • Date: October 15, 2015
  • Game time: 7:00 PM
  • Game weather: Clear, 66 deg.
  • Game attendance: 63,407
  • Referee: Hubert Owens
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Dave Flemming (Play-by-play), Mack Brown (Analyst)
  • Sources:[29][30]
Game information

Kentucky scored 17 second-half points and rallied to within one score, but the Auburn Tigers held on for a 30-27 win in front of 63,407 fans in The New Commonwealth Stadium on Thursday night. Auburn earned a 10-point advantage at 30-20 with less than eight minutes to play before the Wildcats pulled to within three following a Mikel Horton 1-yard plunge. Kentucky was able to get the ball back with 2:12 remaining, but UK failed to convert on fourth-and-3 from the Auburn 44 to allow the Tigers to clinch the victory.

Patrick Towles posted more than 300 yards of offense for the second consecutive game, racking up 359 yards on 27-of-44 passing with one interception. The junior gunslinger had five 20-plus-yard tosses for the evening, including a pair of throws longer than 35 yards. Garrett Johnson was Towles' primary target for the long ball, as he posted a career-best 160 yards receiving, including a season-long 39-yard catch that started a drive to help the Wildcats chip away at a 10-point deficit in the second quarter. Marcus McWilson led the way for the UK defense, tying his career best in total tackles after making 10 stops. Josh Forrest was not far behind with nine tackles, and Jason Hatcher also matched his career mark with seven takedowns.

For the Tigers, Sean White led the team on 17-of-27 passing for 255 yards, 154 of which went into the hands of Ricardo Louis to lead the team in receiving. On the ground, Peyton Barber rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns, while Kerryon Johnson added 36 yards and a touchdown for Auburn.

Kentucky's running backs paced the team in scoring, with Stanley "Boom" Williams returning to action to rush for 113 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard sprint that the sophomore would follow up with the opening touchdown for the Wildcats. Horton also notched a touchdown for the Wildcats, making the most of his five carries in the third quarter to bring UK within three points of the Tigers in the final minutes of the game.

At Mississippi State[edit]

Kentucky Wildcats vs Mississippi State – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Kentucky 10 3 3016
Mississippi State 7 21 7742

at Davis Wade StadiumStarkville, Mississippi

Game information

Mississippi State scored 21 points in the second quarter behind the impressive play of Bulldog senior quarterback Dak Prescott, handing Kentucky its first road loss of the season, 42-16, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss.

Prescott was the star of the game, going 25-for-35 through the air for 348 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing 13 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Holloway was the team's second-leading rusher, carrying the ball six times for 36 yards. Holloway was also the team's leading receiver with five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles went 23-for-42 in the game for 218 yards and two interceptions, rushing six times for 13 yards and a touchdown. Boom Williams was the leading rusher for Kentucky, carrying the ball 18 times for 95 yards, including a 25-yard rush. Dorian Baker had seven receptions for 56 yards, while tight end C.J. Conrad had a career game with six receptions for 56 yards and sophomore Garrett "Juice" Johnson had five catches for 74 yards.

Vs. Tennessee[edit]

Tennessee Volunteers vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Tennessee 7 17 28052
Kentucky 7 7 7021

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

Game information

The Volunteers, any way you slice it, were dominant in their first trip to The New Commonwealth Stadium. They gained nearly 500 yards, limited UK to only two offensive touchdowns, forced a pair of turnovers and scored touchdowns on kick and punt returns.

When UK seized even the tiniest bit of momentum, Tennessee took it right back, starting after C.J. Johnson picked up a sack-fumble forced by Marcus McWilson and returned it 77 yards for a 7-0 Wildcat lead. It was the first of two times in the opening half UK went ahead, but that did not stop the Volunteers from scoring 14 points over the final 5:26 before halftime to take a 24-14 lead.

At Georgia[edit]

Kentucky Wildcats vs Georgia Bulldogs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Kentucky 0 0 000
Georgia 10 0 14327

at Sanford StadiumAthens, Georgia

  • Date: November 7, 2015
  • Game time: 12:00 PM
  • Game weather: 68 deg, overcast
  • Game attendance: 92,746
  • Referee: Marc Curles
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst)
  • Sources:
Game information

The University of Georgia football team scored 14 points in the third quarter to open up a 21-point lead and roll to a 27-3 victory over Kentucky. The two teams traded field goals the reminder of the first half with Marshall Morgan hitting from 22 yards and UK's Austin MacGinnis hitting from 32 yards to cut the UGA halftime lead to 10-3. Georgia took control of the game in the third quarter. Kentucky received the opening kickoff of the second half and elected to go for it on fourth-and-short near midfield, but could not covert. The Bulldogs took advantage of the open field, marching 52 yards down the field with Sony Michel's one-yard scoring rush giving UGA a 17-3 lead.

The Bulldogs added to that lead late in the third quarter when Keith Marshall scored on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Greyson Lambert to put UGA up 24-3. Georgia added a 27-yard field goal by Morgan in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on the 27-3 victory.

At Vanderbilt[edit]

Kentucky Wildcats vs Vanderbilt Commodores – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Kentucky 3 7 7017
Vanderbilt 7 14 0021

at Vanderbilt StadiumNashville, Tennessee

  • Date: November 14, 2015
  • Game time: 4:00 PM
  • Game weather: 61 deg, clear
  • Game attendance: 30,301
  • Referee: Matt Austin
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Tom Hart (Play-by-play), Andre Ware (Analyst)
  • Sources:
Game information

Sophomore running back Stanley "Boom" Williams rushed 13 times for 115 yards on Saturday as Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt 21-17 in Nashville. Williams had rushes of 66 and 38 yards in his return from an elbow injury. Kentucky (4-6, 2-6 SEC) got on the board first in the game, as Austin MacGinnis hit a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. But Vandy took its first lead later in that period when Kyle Shurmur hit Kyle Anderton for a four-yard touchdown to give the Commodores a 7-3 lead. nIn the second quarter, Kentucky got into the end zone when redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Barker connected with Ryan Timmons on a seven-yard pass to make it 10-7 Kentucky. That marked Barker's first career touchdown pass.

On Kentucky's next possession, Barker was intercepted by Oren Burks, who returned the pick 30 yards for a touchdown to give Vanderbilt a 14-10 lead before the half. Vanderbilt (4-6, 2-4 SEC) tacked on another touchdown before the half when Shurmur connected with Caleb Scott on a 37-yard pass, giving the Commodores a 21-10 lead at the break. The second half was largely dominated by the defenses. In fact, the only score after the break came when Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp found the end zone from two yards out with 1:06 left in the third quarter, pulling Kentucky within four points.

Vs. Charlotte[edit]

Charlotte 49ers vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Charlotte 0 3 0710
Kentucky 10 10 172158

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

  • Date: November 21, 2015
  • Game time: 7:30 PM
  • Game weather: 38 deg, cloudy
  • Game attendance: 56,195
  • Referee: Tom Ritter
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Baker (Play-by-play), Clint Stoerner (Analyst)
  • Sources:
Game information

For the first time in five weeks, Kentucky players and coaches happily talked about building on a victorious performance instead of wondering what might have been in defeat. In fact, the Wildcats executed so well against Charlotte that topping the effort might be tough. Jojo Kemp rushed for three touchdowns, Boom Williams ran for two and Kentucky rolled up 544 yards in a 58-10 blowout of Charlotte Saturday night that ended a five-game losing streak.

Kemp broke TD runs of 6, 18, and 47 yards, Williams scored from 20 and 53 yards and Sihiem King added a 62-yarder as Kentucky (5-6) rushed for 415 yards, fourth most in school history. Mike Edwards returned an interception 20 yards for another Wildcats score that handed the 49ers (2-9) their ninth straight loss. Redshirt freshman Drew Barker added 129 yards passing in his first career start for Kentucky, which earned the first of two wins needed to reach the threshold for bowl eligibility. The Wildcats' defense held Charlotte to just 233 yards, recorded four sacks and forced three turnovers. Miles Butler kicked field goals of 21, 46 and 32 yards for Kentucky. Kentucky registered 50 points for the first time since August 2014 against UT Martin, and their 48-point victory margin was its largest since beating UTEP 77-17 in 2002.

Vs. Louisville[edit]

Louisville Cardinals vs Kentucky Wildcats – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Louisville 7 0 171438
Kentucky 21 3 0024

at Commonwealth StadiumLexington, Kentucky

  • Date: November 28, 2015
  • Game time: 12:00 PM
  • Game weather: 59 deg, cloudy
  • Game attendance: 62,512
  • Referee: Riley Johnson
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal (Play-by-play), Andre Ware (Analyst)
  • Sources:
Game information

The Kentucky Wildcats raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter but could not hold on, as Louisville rallied for a 38-24 win at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday. Kentucky received the opening kickoff and marched down the field, taking a 7-0 lead on a one-yard rush by quarterback Drew Barker. After an A.J. Stamps interception, Kentucky took advantage of a short field, going 13 yards in two plays, capped off by a six-yard touchdown rush by Boom Williams to make it 14-0 Kentucky.

On Louisville's next possession, Kentucky intercepted Louisville quarterback Kyle Bolin for the second time, and Josh Forrest returned the pick 81 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0, still in the first quarter. Louisville got on the board late in the first quarter when backup quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed 16 yards for a score to make it 21-7. In the second quarter, Kentucky added a 20-yard field goal by Miles Butler to take a 24-7 lead, which would be the halftime score. Louisville rallied in the second half, eventually taking the lead late in the third quarter, and going on to the victory. Dorian Baker had three catches for 94 yards for Kentucky, while Mikel Horton had 44 yards on the ground to lead the Cats.

Team statistics[edit]

UK OPP
Scoring 157 139
  Points per Game 26.2 21.2
First Downs 118 131
  Rushing 47 57
  Passing 61 58
  Penalty 10 16
Rushing Yardage 813 1,005
  Rushing Attempts 212 249
  Avg per Rush 3.8 4.0
  Avg per Game 135.5 167.5
  TDs Rushing 11 12
Passing Yardage 1,512 1,244
  Comp-Att-Int 123-200-7 110-185-4
  Avg per Game 252.0 207.3
  TDs Passing 8 4
UK OPP
Total Offense 2,325 2,249
  Avg per Play 5.6 5.2
  Avg per Game 387.5 374.8
Fumbles–Lost 7–1 7–3
Penalties–Yards 35–339 38–337
  Avg per Game 56.5 56.2
Punts–Yards 29–1,156 30–1,235
  Net punt avg 36.1 38.1
Time of Possession/Game 28:52 31:08
3rd Down Conversions 36/89 36/90
4th Down Conversions 8/10 7/10
Touchdowns Scored 19 16
Field Goals–Attempts 8–9 9–12
PAT–Attempts 17–19 12–13
Attendance 310,768 82,178
  Games/Avg per Game 62,154 82,178

Rankings[edit]

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP NR NR NR NR NR NR RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR  
Coaches RV NR RV NR RV RV RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR  
CFP Not released NR NR NR NR NR NR Not released

References[edit]

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