LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Backup quarterback Sawyer Smith threw two touchdown passes in relief of injured Terry Wilson, who rushed for a TD before hurting his left leg, and Kentucky rolled past Eastern Michigan 38-17 on Saturday night.
Wilson’s 2-yard TD run in the third quarter put the Wildcats (2-0) up 24-3 before he was carted off later with the injury following a horse-collar tackle by EMU defensive lineman Turan Rush, who was flagged on a play with offsetting penalties. Wilson exited to cheers after teammates offered supportive handshakes. His condition wasn’t immediately known.
Smith, a junior transfer from Troy, came in and hit Ahmad Wagner for a 54-yard touchdown and Lynn Bowden for the final 2-yard TD with 54 seconds remaining. A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke rushed for TDs of 8 and 32 yards, respectively, in a game the Wildcats led throughout.
Kentucky outgained the Eagles (1-1) 461-386, including a 239-49 rushing edge. But the Wildcats committed seven penalties for 84 yards, several of which snuffed first-half chances to put the game out of reach.
Eagles quarterback Mike Glass III threw TD passes of 26 and 7 yards and completed 34 of 53 attempts for 337 yards.
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles were never in this game because they couldn’t stop Kentucky’s offense. Glass hit Line Latu and Bryson Cannon for TDs but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice before halftime. This followed a near-perfect opener in which he completed 20 of 22 passes for 188 yards with three TDs.
Kentucky: Wilson’s status was the big concern, though the Wildcats have others after struggling for several stretches. The Wildcats achieved their goal of starting quicker with two first-quarter TD drives, but a ragged second quarter featuring Rose’s fumble at the EMU 1 and penalties that hurt two other possessions killed chances to put it out of reach early.
Eastern Michigan faces its second consecutive Power Five opponent when it visits Big Ten Conference member Illinois on Saturday.
Kentucky hosts No. 11 Florida on Saturday night, seeking its first home win against the Gators since 1986 and first series winning streak since 1976-77.