Andre Woodson and the rest of Kentucky’s high-powered offense wasted little time delivering a knockout blow to the Colonels’ long-shot hopes of a big-time upset.

And they just continued to pound away after that.

Woodson hit Dickie Lyons Jr. on a 51-yard pass on the Wildcats’ first offensive play of the game, setting the tone for what would be a rather convincing blowout victory in the season opener Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky racked up 568 yards of offense and blasted Eastern Kentucky University 50-10 in just the second-ever meeting between the two schools.

Woodson started off his senior season with another very solid performance, connecting on 20-of-29 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Wildcats jump out to a 30-0 lead in the second quarter.

“I think that kind of got us (down) a little bit,” EKU sophomore defensive lineman Chris Hall said of Woodson’s TD pass to Lyons. “It kind of hurt us. We should have bounced back from it.”

But, the overmatched Colonels never had the chance to recover.

Kentucky scored on six of its first eight possessions and removed all doubt about the outcome long before halftime. The Wildcats had 31 first downs and punted just once.

“They were all over the field and they went all around us,” Hall said.

Woodson looked just as sharp as he did while leading Kentucky to an eight-win season and a victory in the Music City Bowl last year. On his team’s first snap, the senior dropped back, pump-faked and hit Lyons streaking up the left sideline. EKU defensive back Derrick Huff broke coverage on the play, leaving the standout receiver all alone.

“I thought it was overthrown, but the ball stayed in the air forever,” Lyons said. “It was kind of a relief. We knew we were going deep on the first play, so my heart was beating fast.”

Woodson added two more touchdown passes in the first half, Tony Dixon had a TD run and Lones Seibert added a 48-yard field goal as the Cats took control. Woodson left in the third quarter, but backup Mike Hartline came in to lead Kentucky on another touchdown drive.

“I thought we would come down here and play really hard and really well,” EKU coach Danny Hope said. “And compete well enough to be in a position at the end of the game to win. I don’t think we came anywhere close to playing up to our ability.”

Quarterback Josh Greco, a former Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year, started for EKU but was pulled after three very ineffective series. Allan Holland came into the game mid-way through the first quarter and completed eight of his first 11 passes for 57 yards and engineered the Colonels’ only scoring drive of the half.

EKU picked up 49 yards on 11 plays before freshman Logan O’Connor connected on a 45-yard field goal with 1:04 left before the half.

In the third quarter, Holland hit freshman Evan Cromer on a 4-yard touchdown pass that made the score 37-10. The junior was 16-of-25 for 172 yards and had an interception.

Greco started every game the past two seasons but was 0-for-6 and threw an interception when he came back into the game on EKU’s final series.

“That’s why we have two good quarterbacks,” Hope said. “If one of them is not playing well we can go with the other guy. I was glad to see Allan Holland come in and provide a spark for our offense.”

Kentucky won the only other meeting between the two schools, a 52-7 win in 1998.

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