'Cats scare Bengals; Collins, Fanuzzi honored in upset romp of Tulane; Bowl hopes abound
LSU28 UK 21
(continued from pg. 118)
66,991 "Ragin' Cajuns" watched quietly as the UK Wildcats went to the locker room with 21-14 advantage over the Bayou Bengals.
Once again severely hurt by a lack of depth, the Cats' offense faltered in the second half as the LSU offense added two more touchdowns.
Kentucky's first half displayed the surfacing of a somewhat explosive passing attack. Quarterback Mike Fanuzzi connected on 6 of 15 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, one a 63-yard bomb to Elmore Stephens and the other a 17 yard toss to freshman Fred Bishop.
Defensive stalwart James "Bubba" McCullom finally drew acclaim for his play. The 5-11, 251 lb. middle guard earned SEC "Lineman of the Week" honors for his 14 solos and three assists.
6-0, 194 lb. Sonny Collins continued his assualt on the record books with 91 yards and a touchdown. This brought his season total to 677 yards, eclipsing the old UK single season rushing record of 671 set by Rodger Bird in 1964.
UK 12 GEORGIA 7
Sonny Collins, Darryl Bishop, Frank LeMaster, and Elmore Stephens led UK to a close come-from-behind victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.
What Fran Curci termed a "team effort" overcame a 7-0 deficit with a TD, a field goal, and a safety to bring the 'Cats record to 3-4.
Collins proved himself a consistently great runner by gaining 156 yards in 29 attempts, giving him 833 yards on the year. He remained the SEC rushing leader.
Darryl Bishop intercepted two passes, including one in the last
minute of the game, thus securing the victory. His two interceptions made him the career pass interception leader at UK.
LeMaster, 6-2, 218 lbs., of Lexington, intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and made six unassisted tackles.
Elmore Stephens scored his second touchdown of the year on a 25-yard pass from Mike Fanuzzi.
The improving Wildcats then began preparation for their third undefeated and nationally ranked opponent, this time the Green Wave of Tulane in UK's homecoming contest.
UK 34 TULANE 7
It took UK only 1:57 to get on the scoreboard after the opening kickoff. Kentucky's Ron Steele kicked off, made the tackle, recovered the fumble, and four plays later booted a '27 yard field goal. The 'Cats never looked back.
After a Tulane punt, Mike Fanuzzi ran for a total of 25 yards, and passed for 11, bringing the ball to rest on the Tulane 1-yard line. Collins ran it in from there with Ron Steele kicking the point after to give UK a 10-0 lead.
Tulane was stopped once again by the gang-tackling Wildcats and was forced to punt.
UK got on the board again as Collins and Doug Kotar combined for 56 yards before Fanuzzi carried it in from the one.
Defensive end Tom Ehlers then stopped two potential Tulane drives with pass interceptions.
Another field goal by Ron Steele just before the half ended brought the tally to UK 20, Tulane 0.
A third quarter drive sustained by a roughing the kicker penalty and fueled by the runs of Collins and
Fanuzzi resulted in another touchdown by Collins.
Fourth quarter touchdowns by both teams produced the final score of 34-7.
Tulane's heralded quarterback Steve Foley was a minus 7 yards in the first half while the entire Tulane team managed but 49 yards for the game.
In sharp contrast, Kentucky amassed 352 yards on the ground. Sonny Collins streaked for 176 yards in 26 carries and three touchdowns. His performance once again earned him SEC "Back of the Week" honors, as he broke the 1,000 yard barrier after only eight games.
Mike Fanuzzi, however was cited the Most Valuable Player in the homecoming game for his completion of 4 of 9 passes and 70 yards on the ground.
Liberty, Peach, or Astro-Blue-bonnet? That's what dreaming Wildcat fans were asking one another after UK's stunningly lopsided upset of Tulane.
After all, UK had beaten Tulane, stayed close to mighty 'Bama and LSU and had lost only one game by a decisive margin. They also boasted an Ail-American candidate in sophomore tailback Sonny Collins.
Representatives from the Liberty Bowl who had come to see Tulane looked on as the Wildcats embarrassed the Greenies.
Even the staunchest fans realized the 'Cats would have to win their remaining games to harbor any realistic bowl hopes.
Even this did not seem impossible. With generally weak Vanderbilt, and sagging Flordia coming up before the final with Tennessee, things were looking good for the 'Cats.
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