LEXINGTON — Jamin Davis got one, in the end zone, to end the first half. Jordan Wright got one, took it eight yards for a touchdown.
Boogie Watson just ripped the football away from Osirus Mitchell as the Mississippi State receiver was trying to cross the goal line.
Josh Paschal got a ball thrown nearly right to him by K.J. Costello, and the defensive end nearly took it to the house, rumbling with pretty good speed for 76 yards to the Miss State 2.
The University of Kentucky went up 14-0 when Chris Rodriguez went those last two yards for a touchdown.
Kelvin Johnson got his turn with a pickoff.
D’Eryk Jackson even got one at garbage time. Jackson is a true freshman linebacker.
Imagine, UK being on the top side of garbage time in an SEC football game.
It was interception central for Kentucky, and not just in the secondary.
UK’s defense decided to learn from its disaster against Mississippi last week, but not dwell on it.
The Wildcats beat Mississippi State 21-2 Saturday night, and they only put up 157 yards in total offense. They were particularly horrid in the second half, when they managed just 35 yards. (Do not adjust your reading device).
Kentucky was the most opportunistic it had been in nearly three decades whenever Miss. State put the football in the air.
Kentucky’s six picks were the most since Sept. 11, 1993 when UK intercepted Florida seven times, but lost on a last-second touchdown.
There was no need for such drama in UK’s first win in three tries this season.
Mark Stoops looked clearly relieved when he talked about things after the game.
“We were in good position, we had opportunities to make plays today and we did,” Stoops said of the interceptions. “When technique and opportunity meet you can make good plays.
“The guys executed very well. The first couple were major. It’s hard to stop them completely from moving the football.”
Miss. State did throw for 275 yards, but the takeaways and never letting it get big plays down the field negated those numbers.
Mike Leach’s Air Raid didn’t get much altitude all night.
“We all knew the first two games were not up to our standards,” Davis said. “We were up for making a huge statement.
“We just wanted to get 11 hats to the ball and play with our hair on fire.”
That might have been a little dangerous, but you get the point.
Last week Ole Miss put up 35 points in regulation and 42 for the game, winning 42-41.
“We weren’t real impressed with the way we played a week ago,” Stoops said. “We’re going to play very good explosive teams.”
UK’s offense didn’t do a lot, and Stoops knows there’s work to do on that side of the ball.
Punter Max Duffy was also a major factor in keeping Miss. State way back in its own territory. Duffy had eight punts for 359 yards, 44.9 yards a punt, with three inside the 20. Duffy also chased a bad snap down and booted the ball out of the end zone for a safety, instead of it becoming a Miss. State touchdown.
Stoops thought Duffy did a fine job bailing out the offense.
All the UK guys picking off passes were pretty good, too.