From UK Athletics
FINAL SCORE: Southern Miss 44, Kentucky 35
Team Records and Series Notes
- This was the season opener for both teams.
- Kentucky leads the series 2-1, with all three games played in Lexington.
- UK and Southern Miss will open the 2017 season with a game in Hattiesburg.
- Kentucky will return to action on Sept. 10, opening its Southeastern Conference schedule at Florida. The game is set for 3:30 p.m., will be televised on CBS and broadcast on the UK Sports Radio Network.
- UK has an all-time record of 85-35-5 in season openers, including a 72-15-4 mark at home. UK is 2-2 in season openers under Mark Stoops.
Kentucky Team Notes
- UK’s game captains were senior center Jon Toth, senior running back Jojo Kemp, junior linebacker CourtneyLove and senior defensive lineman Courtney Miggins.
- Six players made their first collegiate starts, including freshman wide receiver Tavin Richardson, senior defensive lineman Courtney Miggins, junior defensive lineman Alvonte Bell, sophomore linebacker Kobie Walker, sophomore linebacker Jordan Jones and senior linebacker Courtney Love.
- Kentucky scored 21 points in the first quarter, which tied the most points scored in the first quarter in school history. This was the eighth time that Kentucky has scored 21 points in the first quarter.
- Kentucky played a total of four true freshmen in the game. Those players were running back Benny Snell, Jr.,linebacker Kash Daniel, tight end Justin Rigg and punter Grant McKinniss.
- Kentucky had three interceptions in the game, which is the most in a season opener since Sept. 1, 2011 vs. Western Kentucky when the Wildcats had four picks.
- Kentucky averaged 8.9 yards per play in the game, which is the most since Aug. 30, 2014 against Tennessee-Martin.
Kentucky Player Notes
- Sophomore quarterback Drew Barker had three touchdown passes in a quarter. He is the first UK quarterback to achieve the feat since Andre’ Woodson had three touchdown passes against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 29, 2007.
- Barker is also the first player to have four touchdown passes in a half since Woodson against Florida on Oct. 20, 2007.
- Barker ended the game with career highs in several categories: 323 yards passing and four touchdowns.
- Barker’s 323 passing yards were the fifth most in school history in a season opener.
- Barker’s four touchdown passes were the most in a season opener since Tim Couch against Louisville, Sept. 5, 1998. Couch had seven touchdown passes that game.
- Barker’s 323 passing yards are the most for a UK quarterback with 15 completions or less in school history.
- Junior wide receiver Garrett Johnson is the first player with 100 receiving yards in a season opener since Dicky Lyons, Jr., vs. Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 1, 2007.
- Johnson is the 13th player to reach 1,000 career receiving yards within his first 25 games played at Kentucky. He is the first to accomplish that feat since Javess Blue in 2014.
- Johnson ended the game with six catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
- For his career, Johnson has 1,108 career receiving yards, which ranks him 25th all-time in program history.
- This is the fourth career 100-plus yard receiving game for Johnson.
- Johnson’s 143 receiving yards are the second most in a season opener in school history.
- Johnson had 23.8 yards per reception in the game, which is the most yards per reception by a UK player with at least five receptions since he had 25.7 yards per reception against Florida in 2014.
- Junior wide receiver Jeff Badet finished the game with two catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
- Badet’s touchdown grab in the first quarter was his longest career catch. His previous long was 56 yards vs. Miami (Ohio) in 2013.
- Junior running back Stanley “Boom” Williams had another impressive game for Kentucky, rushing 13 times for 94 yards, including a long rush of 36 yards.
- Williams now has 1,435 career rushing yards, ranking him 20th on UK’s career rushing list.
- Senior cornerback J.D. Harmon had two interceptions in the game, giving him a team-high seven career interceptions.
- The two-interception game is the second of his career. The first came his freshman season when he had two picks at Missouri in 2012.
- Harmon is the first UK player to record two picks in a season opener since Winston Guy vs. WKU on Sept. 1, 2011.
- Sophomore linebacker Jordan Jones led the team with 19 tackles, including 13 solo tackles. He also added two tackles for loss, one sack and a quarterback hurry.
- Jones’ 19 tackles were the most by a UK player since Cory Johnson had 19 tackles last season against EKU.
- Sophomore linebacker Kobie Walker started his first career game and had 10 total tackles joining Jones in the double-digit tackle category.
- Senior cornerback/nickel Blake McClain made his first career interception in the game. The pick was first tipped by sophomore safety Mike Edwards. McClain finished the game with nine tackles and a pass breakup, while Edwards had nine tackles and a tackle-for-loss.
- Junior kicker Austin MacGinnis now ranks eighth on the career scoring list with 170 points after scoring five points in the game with extra points.
- Senior center Jon Toth started his team-leading 36th consecutive game. Fellow offensive lineman RamseyMeyers is second on that list with 25 consecutive starts.
- Freshman wide receiver Tavin Richardson caught his first career pass in Kentucky’s first scoring drive of the season, hauling in a 41-yard reception in the first quarter.
- Sophomore wide receiver Kayaune Ross made his first career catch with a nine-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.