Brown, Robinson lift Cats past EKU
Published 4:08 pm Monday, September 11, 2023
Late in the first half of UK’s 28-17 win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Kentucky needed a spark. The Cats were trailing the Colonels 7-0 and appeared to be headed to halftime behind on the scoreboard.
Enter Barion Brown and Tayvion Robinson.
With less than a minute before halftime, EKU punted from deep in its own territory. Brown fielded the punt and scampered 36 yards down the right sideline, giving UK the ball on the EKU 24 with 48 seconds to play.
On the next play, quarterback Devin Leary hit Robinson in the back, left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Instead of trailing at the half, the Cats found themselves tied thanks to its two electric playmakers.
Then in the second half, after EKU took a 10-7 lead, it was once again Brown and Robinson who came to the rescue. On third and 10 from the UK 40, Leary found Robinson over the middle for a 25-yard completion. On the very next play, Brown went left on a reverse and picked up 26 yards, getting the ball to the EKU nine.
Three plays later, it was Leary to Robinson again, this time on a six-yard scoring pass, one that gave Kentucky a lead it would never relinquish.
After EKU punted, Robinson was able to show his versatility, taking a pass on a sweep for a 56-yard pickup. Two plays later, it was Leary connecting with Brown from 13 yards out, padding the UK lead to 21-10.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops raved about Robinson after the game.
“You know, he is explosive,” Stoops said. “He is good in the return game, he had the sweep, he had the explosive play, I believe set up a touchdown. And he is showing better than leadership and just playing really hard.”
EKU would cut the UK lead to 21-17 early in the fourth period. But Kentucky answered with a scoring drive of its own, with Brown accounting for a pair of receptions totaling 22 yards as Kentucky scored on a Ray Davis touchdown reception, one that gave Kentucky a 28-17 lead.
The pair put up solid numbers in Saturday’s win. Brown had two rushes for 34 yards, caught six passes for 51 yards, had 47 yards in punt returns and 20 yards in kickoff returns for a total of 152 all purpose yards. Robinson caught six passes for 136 yards and had one kickoff return for 14 yards. That gave Robinson 150 all purpose yards in the game.
Stoops is trying to manage Brown’s workload due to an injury he is still nursing a bit.
“I’m trying to get his legs up underneath him and get him feeling good,” Stoops said. “He had a soft tissue injury a little bit during camp that hindered a little bit of his conditioning. You can see his speed elevating and getting his legs up underneath him, as other players are.”
UK wide receiver Tayvion Robinson pulls in a touchdown pass during Kentucky’s 28-17 win over EKU. UK Athletics photo by Elliott Hess