LEXINGTON - On a magnificent spring day in the Commonwealth, the Blue squad defeated the White squad, 38-14, in the annual Blue/White Spring Game at Commonwealth Stadium Saturday afternoon in front of 35,117 fans.
The attendance of 35,117 during Saturday’s game ranks as the second-most in program history for a UK spring game, behind last season’s mark of 50,831.
The Blue squad, comprised of the first-team offense and defense, racked up 437 total yards compared to 165 for the White team. The offensive attack was led by a balanced effort, as 234 yards came through the air and another 203 on the ground. Running back Jojo Kemp led the Blue team with 90 yards on 11 carries to go with two touchdowns. Kemp also added two receptions for 41 yards. Transfer running back Braylon Heard carried the ball seven times for 55 yards.
Mikel Horton rushed for 70 yards and a score on a game-high 13 carries for the White squad. Splitting time between both teams, running back Josh Clemons ran the ball 11 times for a game-high 93 yards and one touchdown.
The three Kentucky quarterbacks rotated between the Blue and White teams. Patrick Towles was an efficient 11-of-15 for 126 yards on the day. Playing in his first game as a Wildcat, true freshman quarterback Drew Barker finished 7-of-19 for 74 yards and a TD that went for 30 yards to wide receiver Demarco Robinson. Reese Phillips was the third QB to see action in the game and he threw for 74 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-17 passing.
Robinson led all receivers with eight receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Timmons added five catches for 47 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Daron Blaylock led all players with nine total tackles. Defensive end Za’Darius Smith registered four tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception, which all came in the first half.
On the opening drive of the game, the Blue team went 70 yards in just seven plays, while taking just over two minutes off the clock. Kemp would punch it in from just four yards out to make it 7-0 Blue team.
The White team would tie it up at 7-7 with 2:05 remaining in the first quarter following a two-yard touchdown run from Clemons. Clemons accounted for 55 of the 70 yards on the drive, including a 38-yard run down the sideline to set up first-and-goal for the White.
Kemp would add his second score of the half on a 48-yard run to give the Blue squad a 14-7 lead with 2:21 left in the first half. On the ensuing play, Towles’ pass was intercepted by defensive end Za’Darius Smith and returned 13 yards to just inside the 20 yard line. Phillips then found tight end Steven Borden for a 17-yard touchdown on the very next play to give Blue a 21-7 lead before halftime.
With less than a minute remaining in the half, Towles drove the Blue team 58 yards into scoring position and kicker Austin MacGinnis cashed a 40-yard field goal on the final play before intermission to make it 24-7.
Midway through the third quarter the Blue squad tacked on another touchdown to make it 31-7 on a one-yard TD pass from Phillips to fullback D.J. Warren. The White team responded with a touchdown drive of its own to cut the deficit to 31-14. Horton punched it in from a yard out for his first score of the day.
The final score of the game came when Barker connected with Robinson for a 30-yard strike on a post pattern to give the Blue a 38-14 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Kentucky will officially open the 2014 season on August 30 vs. UT-Martin in Commonwealth Stadium with a kickoff time yet to be announced.