Kentucky held on for a 24-20 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday in Lexington, its third close nonconference victory of the season.
Stephen Johnson completed 18 of 27 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns, but was sacked 5 times. Those sacks greatly skewed Kentucky’s rushing yards, as the Wildcats (4-1, 1-1 SEC) ran for 53 yards on 37 carries — 1.4 yards per attempt — when they were factored in.
Eastern Michigan scored with 2:34 remaining to cut the lead to four points, and got the ball again after forcing a punt, but Brogan Roback’s final desperation heave was intercepted in the end zone by Kentucky’s Mike Edwards to give the Wildcats the win.
Here’s what Eastern Michigan said about the Wildcats following the game:
Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton
“You know, we didn’t turn the ball over in the first half, but we turned it over there in the second half. And hat’s off to Kentucky. We thought in the very beginning that both teams had very disappointing losses last week and the team that was going to be able to respond was going to win the football game, and they were a little better than us today.”
Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback
“I don’t think we’re ever surprised. We had the intention coming in here that we were going to win. We knew we matched up very well and we could do things. I think that showed that. We have players just like they do. The thing is it’s SEC, so everyone expects them to roll the MAC, but the MAC is a really good [conference]. You got top guys in the NFL right now that are MAC guys. So, there’s good players here. This group, we rise to challenges like this. We thrive on stuff like that. Just to be able to prove what we can do and that we do belong. So no, we weren’t surprised, to answer your question, because we fully expect to be in a game and to be in a situation similar to what we were just right there to win the game.”
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