LEXINGTON, Ky. — In Kentucky’s backfield, Boom Williams is the shifty upperclassman, Benny Snell the bruising freshman.
Where one has speed, the other has strength. Together they became the first Kentucky duo to independently reach 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Saturday night’s win against Austin Peay.
Snell was the star of the duo on a crisp night at Commonwealth Stadium. The freshman carried 14 times for 152 yards and two scores. He came into the night tied for second in the conference in touchdowns after not playing in the first two games of the season.
And in addition to the shared record with Williams, Snell set another of his own against the Governors. He surpassed Moe Williams’ 1993 mark for most freshman rushing yards in school history. Snell is at 1,006 rushing yards with the Louisville matchup next week and a bowl game to go.
“I congratulated Benny,” Boom Williams said. “That’s a big accomplishment, especially as a freshman. That’s something I wasn’t able to do so it’s huge for him. It’s just an honor and a blessing to be able to have that achievement for both of us.”
Williams rushed for 47 yards and a score on Saturday. The junior had a 94-yard weaving rush called back by a holding penalty.
The Wildcats underwent an offensive transition after former starter Drew Barker got hurt in Week 3 and never returned. The weight of the offense shifted to the shoulders of Williams first, who then shared the burden with Snell.
“It’s awesome,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said of the record. “Awesome for the program to recruit running backs. It says a lot about our offensive line and the unselfishness we talked about with our receivers.”
Kentucky entered Saturday’s slate of games third in the SEC with 239 rushing yards per game. The Wildcats added 281 more yards against Austin Peay with five rushing touchdowns.
“To have two over 1,000 was a great mark for the team,” coach Mark Stoops said. “And all those guys, it was good to get Jojo [Kemp] in there and get him some touchdowns. So it was just a good night overall.”