By LARRY VAUGHT
It didn’t start out well with Austin Peay jumping in front by a stunning 13-0, but Kentucky did more than enough to get its sixth win — and makes itself bowl eligible — by coming back to win 49-13 Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.
The Cats are now 6-5 and bowl eligible for the first time since 2010 and the first time with Mark Stoops as head coach.
Austin Peay drove 71 yards on its first drive before a quarterback hit by Josh Allen led to an interception by Chris Westry inside the 10-yard line. Boom Williams responded with a 95-yard touchdown run only to have it nullified by a holding penalty on Ryan Timmons. Austin Peay got the ball back and went 63 yards to score.
Backup quarterback Luke Wright — who started because UK coach Mark Stoops wanted to try and not play Stephen Johnson due to a slight knee injury — threw an interception on the next series that was returned for a score and 13-0 lead.
Benny Snell scored on a 30-yard run after Johnson came into the game to cut the lead to 13-7. The freshman running back finished the game with 152 yards and two scores on 14 carries and became just the eighth player ever at UK to reach 1,000 yards. He also now holds the UK freshman rushing record.
The game turned when Peay was driving for another score and UK safety Mike Edwards picked off the pass and returned it 46 yards to set up a scoring pass from Johnson to tight end C.J. Conrad for a 14-13 lead. Before halftime Johnson hit Garrett Johnson for a 40-yard score.
The second half was all UK as Boom Williams had a 25-yard scoring run. Snell a 48-yard TD run and Jojo Kemp scoring runs of 40 and 7 yards.
Kentucky had 281 yards rushing and finished with 410 yards. Austin Peay had 284 yards and at one time had 200 yards to UK’s 80.
UK had 10 penalties for 85 yards, two of which negated scores.