Sunday, September 19, 2004

Boyd leads UK past Indiana

Kentucky 51, Indiana 32

By Murray Evans
The Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Shane Boyd couldn't think of a better way to celebrate his 22nd birthday than with a decisive win.

Kentucky's senior quarterback had 335 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns, leading the Wildcats to a 51-32 victory over Indiana on Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

Boyd and the Wildcats (1-1) looked much sharper than they did in their season opener, an embarrassing 28-0 loss to rival Louisville, while Indiana (2-1) couldn't repeat the magic of its 30-24 win over then-No. 24 Oregon a week earlier.

Kentucky scored on seven of its first nine possessions, finished with 560 yards of offense and posted its highest regulation point total since a 77-17 victory over Texas-El Paso in the second game of the 2002 season.

"It gives us a lot of confidence after we stunk up the place at Louisville," Boyd said. "I always knew we could do it. It wasn't a surprise."

Indiana had 412 yards of offense - 214 more than the Hoosiers amassed against Oregon - but lost for the ninth time in its last 10 meetings against Kentucky. Indiana was seeking its first 3-0 start since 1994.

"The next time we have a big win, we'll know what it feels like, and we'll deal with it then," Indiana coach Gerry DiNardo said. "I thought our guys did the best they could to deal with it."

As coach Rich Brooks promised, several true freshmen played prominent roles for Kentucky, including Tony Dixon, who started at tailback and rushed for 105 yards on nine carries. Dixon's 67-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was Kentucky's longest since 2001, when Chad Scott scored on a 67-yard run against Ball State.

Dixon was only Kentucky's second-leading rusher, though. Boyd finished with a career-high 130 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries - mostly on the option or quarterback draws - scoring on runs of 13 and 9 yards. Boyd is the first Kentucky quarterback to rush for more than 100 yards in a game since Pookie Jones had 130 against Kent State in 1993.

Boyd also completed 21 of 30 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, the second-best passing yardage game of his career. He matched his career high for touchdown passes in a game.

Kentucky hadn't had two 100-yard rushers in a game since the 2002 win over UTEP and only had one 100-yard game all last season.

"It feels good to lead the team in the way I like to," Boyd said. "We were moving the ball down the field. It's not all me. We've got 10 other guys who can do the job."

Safeties Marcus McClinton and Wesley Woodyard, tailback Rafael Little, punt returner Dicky Lyons Jr., wide receiver Lonnell DeWalt and tackle Aaron Miller - true freshmen all - also saw significant action for Kentucky.

Kentucky's 24-point second quarter was its best since the Wildcats scored 28 points in the third quarter against Florida in the fifth game of the 2002 season, a span of 21 games. Kentucky hadn't scored 27 points in the first half since beating Vanderbilt 41-21 in 2002.

Kentucky scored on five of six first-half possessions and led 27-17 at halftime.

Victor Adeyanju returned a Boyd fumble 4 yards for a touchdown just 61 seconds into the second half, but Kentucky scored the next 21 points, as Boyd threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to Scott Mitchell and 12 yards to Glenn Holt. The latter pass put Kentucky ahead 48-24 late in the third quarter.

Indiana quarterback Matt LoVecchio's second touchdown pass to Courtney Roby covered 64 yards and brought the Hoosiers within 48-32, and the Hoosiers reached the Kentucky 25 early in the fourth quarter before losing the ball on downs. They didn't threaten again.

LoVecchio completed 12 of 24 passes for 236 yards (the second-highest total of his career) and two touchdowns, both to Roby, who had seven catches for 184 yards.

Indiana running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 82 yards in the first quarter, but had only 33 the rest of the game, finishing with 115 on 23 carries.

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