Allen, Stallings Receive SEC Player of the Week Honors
LEXINGTON, Ky. – – Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen (pictured) and offensive guard Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings have been named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Week and Offensive Lineman of the Week, respectively, it was announced Monday, Sept. 10 by the league.
The Wildcats scored a cathartic 27-16 victory over Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, ending the Gators’ 31-game winning streak in the series. It was the Cats’ first win over Florida since 1986, first win in Gainesville since 1979 and first-ever win in The Swamp over a ranked Florida squad.
Allen, from Montclair, New Jersey, was a force all night against the Gators in recording five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and quarterback hurry. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior sealed the victory when he flashed past the left tackle and sacked Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks on the final play of the game. Franks fumbled on the play, which UK safety Davonte Robinson scooped up and returned for a touchdown to provide the final margin of victory. The 16 points scored by Florida was the second-lowest total for the Gators in the series since 1986. The Gators scored 14 in 2015 in a 14-9 win in Lexington.
A preseason All-SEC selection and candidate for the Bednarik and Butkus awards, Allen leads all active SEC players with 16.5 sacks to go along with 24 tackles for loss. In two games this season he has recorded 15 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
Stallings, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound guard from McComb, Mississippi, helped the Wildcats pound Florida’s defense for 303 rushing yards, the first time a team has rushed for more than 300 yards against Florida since Miami in 2002. Along the way, running back Benny Snell Jr. (175 yards) and quarterback Terry Wilson (105 yards) each rushed for more than 100 yards with Snell becoming just the fourth SEC player to rush for 175 yards or more vs. Florida in the past 18 years.
The senior lineman is part of a unit that has helped UK rush for 301.0 yards per game through two weeks, which ranks 11th nationally. Stallings graded out at 91 percent for the game with nine knockdown blocks and no missed assignments or penalties. He had 23 blocks at the point of attack and was a key cog in paving the way for the Cats to make it two straight games with a pair of 100-yard rushers, the first time the program has done that in 39 years.
The Cats return to the field this Saturday at noon (SEC Network Alternate) when they host Murray State at Kroger Field on Heroes’ Day.
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught