The Kentucky Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking defeat in their 2020 home opener Saturday as they fell to the Ole Miss Rebels in a 42-41 shootout in overtime and are now 0-2 on the season.

Here’s a recap of all the action: 

FIRST QUARTER 

Ole Miss won the opening toss and elected to put receive. The Rebels offense got off to a fast start as Jerrion Ealy ran for 12 yards on their first play from scrimmage and Matt Corral connected with Jonathan Mingo for a 31-yard gain to the UK 32 yard-line. Later in the drive, Ealy ran for 15 yards to set himself up for a one-yard touchdown run, putting the Rebels ahead 7-0 in just two minutes and 22 seconds.

The Wildcats offense appeared as it was set to respond quickly as on their first play from scrimmage A.J. Rose broke free for a 72-yard run but was stopped at the Ole Miss 3-yard line after celebrating too early. This mistake would come back to bite Rose two plays later, Rose fumbled at the 1-yard line and Ole Miss’s Ryder Anderson was able to recover it at the 2-yard line forcing a turnover.

Luckily for Rose, the UK defense was able to force a three-and-out leading to an Ole Miss punt from their own end zone. Josh Ali would return the punt 17-yard line, setting the Cats up at the Rebels 29-yard line. From there, Kavosiey Smoke set up the Wildcats in the red zone with a 19-yard run and two players later, quarterback Terry Wilson ran the ball in for a touchdown from four yards out to even the score at 7-7.

Ole Miss started their next drive with excellent field position after Ealy returned Chance Poore‘s kickoff to his own 46 yard-line. They would be unable to cash in, however, as on third down, Marquan Mccall and J.J. Weaver chased down Corral for a sack to force a punt.

After the punt, UK’s offense went back to what they did best in 2019: running the football. Rose ran for 18-yards and Chris Rodriguez ran for 21 to set the Cats up at the Ole Miss 31. They then moved into the red zone as Wilson found Ali for a 24-yard gain to the Ole Miss 7-yard line and three plays later, Rose found the end zone from 2-yards out to put the Cats in front 14-7.

Ole Miss would end the quarter on a roll as a 12-yard pass to Elijah Moore and 5-yard run by Ealy moved the Rebels to the UK 40-yard line.

Score After First Quarter: Kentucky 14, Ole Miss, 7

SECOND QUARTER 

The Rebels would continue to zero in on the end zone in the second quarter as a Taj Dodson late hit on Corral set up Ole Miss at the UK 14-yard line. There, Corral found his tight end, Kenny Yeboah, for a touchdown to even the score at 14-14.

After the Cats went three and out on their ensuing possession, Ole Miss took over at their own 14-yard line. While the Rebels picked up a pair of first downs on the drive, they’d also punt after Brandin Echols stopped Moore for a loss of two on third down.

Both teams’ would exchange punts on their following possessions, but before the half, the Wildcat offense was able to find its’ groove as a Wilson pass of 18-yards to Ali moved UK across midfield with just under two minutes left in the half. With just 37 seconds left in the first half, UK found the end zone as Wilson ran for a 22-yard score to put the Cats in front 21-14 heading into the halftime locker room.

Halftime Score: Kentucky 21, Ole Miss 14

THIRD QUARTER

UK opened the second half from their own 25-yard line. They would quickly move into Ole Miss territory after an 18-yard run from Wilson moved the Cats to the Rebels 42 yard-line. Later in the drive, the Cats would find the end zone as Rodriguez scored on a 22-yard run to extend the UK lead to 28-14 early in the third quarter.

Ole Miss’s offense would strike right back on their first possession of the half as they moved into Kentucky territory after just two plays as Corral hit Yeboah for 28-yards and Mingo for 24 yards. Just two plays later, the Rebels hit pay dirt as Corral tossed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Mingo. The Rebels touchdown drive took just four plays and one minute and 24 seconds as they cut the lead to 28-21.

The third quarter sprint continued on Kentucky’s ensuing possession as a Wilson 31-yard run followed by two Rodriguez runs for a combined 24 yards moved the ball inside Ole Miss territory to the 32-yard line. The drive would fizzle out, however, as Ole Miss defensive back Jamar Richardson sacked Wilson and then broke up what looked to be a likely touchdown for DeMarcus Harris. UK would attempt a 49-yard Matt Ruffolo kick, but it hit the right upright, allowing Ole Miss to take over.

The Rebels would quickly take advantage of the great field position provided by the missed kick as Snoop Conner ran for 23-yards to the UK 46-yard line and an 18-yard reception by Moore moved the ball to the UK 22 yard-line. Later in the drive, a 14-yard Corral run would move the Rebels to the 2-yard line where three plays later, they faced a fourth and goal from the one. Ole Miss attempted to score with a pitch to the running back Ealy, but he was stopped for a loss by Kelvin Joseph and Josh Paschal as the Cats held onto their seven-point lead.

Kentucky would go three and out on their ensuing possession setting up Ole Miss at their own 46-yard line after a 44-yard punt. The quarter would come to an end after a 14-yard run from Corral set up the Rebels at the UK 40.

Score After Third Quarter: Kentucky 28, Ole Miss, 21 

FOURTH QUARTER

Ole Miss would quickly even the score early in the fourth quarter as Corral connected with Mingo for 19-yards and then again on a 16-yard slant route that ended in the end zone to tie the game at 28.

Kentucky’s offense would again drive into Ole Miss territory on their ensuing possession as Wilson ran twice for a combined 19 yards and then connected with Ali for a 17-yard reception to the Rebels 37-yard line. The drive would end in disaster however as on 4th down and eight, Mark Stoops elected to go for it from the Ole Miss 35-yard line where Wilson was sacked by MoMo Sanogo for a 12-yard loss turning the ball over on down’s.

Ole Miss would quickly even the score early in the fourth quarter as Corral connected with Mingo for 19-yards and then again on a 16-yard slant route that ended in the end zone to tie the game at 28.

Kentucky’s offense would again drive into Ole Miss territory on their ensuing possession as Wilson ran twice for a combined 19 yards and then connected with Ali for a 17-yard reception to the Rebels 37-yard line. The drive would end in disaster however as on fourth down from the Ole Miss 35, Wilson was sacked for a 12-yard loss by MoMo Sanogo as the Cats turned the ball over on downs.

Ole Miss would take full advantage of the UK mistake as Corral connected with Yeboah for 41-yards and three plays later Conner punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out to put the Rebels on top 35-28.

The Wildcats would again drive into Ole Miss territory on their ensuing possession as Wilson connected with Ali, Justin Rigg, Clevan Thomas and used his legs to get to the Ole Miss 22 yard-line. UK would later move to the two-yard line after Wilson connected with Akeem Hayes for 20-yards. Two plays later, Rodriguez would score from a yard out to tie the game at 35-35 with just 2:04 to play.

Needing a stop, UK’s defense stepped up as Jamar “Boogie” Watson sacked Corral to set up a third down and long where Tyrell Ajian stopped Moore a yard short of the first to force a punt with 42 seconds to play.

After a 56-yard punt from Mac Brown pinned the Cats inside their own 10-yard line the Cats opted to simply let the clock run out in regulation taking the game into overtime.

Score After Fourth Quarter: Kentucky 35, Ole Miss, 35

OVERTIME

Ole Miss won the overtime coin flip and elected to play defense first. On the opening drive of overtime, the Cats ran the ball down Ole Miss’s throat as Rodriguez ran twice for a combined 15-yards and Wilson ran in a touchdown from 10-yards out. The Ruffolo extra point would miss, however, as UK took just a 41-35 lead.

With the extra point miss, Kentucky’s defense took the field looking for a game-winning stop. On first down from the Ole Miss 15, Joseph made a massive mistake for the Wildcats as he was called for pass interference in the end zone to give the Rebels a first and goal from the 2-yard line. Ole Miss would cash in two plays later as Corral found Moore in the end zone from three yards out. Luke Logan’s extra point would be good as the Rebels closed out a dramatic 42-41 win. 

Final Score: Ole Miss 42, Kentucky, 41

MVP: Matt Corral

The Kentucky defense has no answer for Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral who went an outstanding 24-29 passing with 320 yards and four touchdown passes. He also did not commit a turnover as he led the Rebels to victory.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jonathan Mingo 

For the second straight week, a tall-receiver burned the Wildcats as 6-foot-2 Jonathan Mingo made eight catches for 128 yards and two scores in the Rebels win.

Photo: UK Athletics 

Facebook Comments