LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen (pictured, No. 41) 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, September 24 by the league. It is the second time in three weeks the pair received the honors.
The Wildcats scored an empathic 28-7 victory over No. 14 Mississippi State on Saturday night at Kroger Field, dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. It was the Cats’ second win over a ranked team in three weeks, which included a 27-16 victory at No. 25 Florida on September 8. Allen and Stallings both were honored for their performances in that game as well.
Allen, from Montclair, New Jersey, was virtually unblockable against the Bulldogs, totaling six tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. He took up residence in the State backfield, particularly in the second half when the Cats did not allow a point. On back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, Allen made his mark after the Bulldogs advanced to the UK 25-yard line looking to tie the game. He had a tackle for loss, drew a holding penalty and false start, registered a sack and forced a bad throw from that resulted in an interception.
A preseason All-SEC selection and candidate for the Bednarik and Butkus awards, Allen leads all active SEC players with 17.5 sacks to go along with 26 tackles for loss. In four games this season, he has recorded 25 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, four quarterbacks hurries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Stallings, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound guard from McComb, Mississippi, helped the Wildcats roll up 229 rushing yards against one of the SEC’s elite defensive fronts. As Benny Snell Jr. ran his way to 165 yards and four touchdowns, Stallings delivered four knockdown blocks and 21 blocks at the point of attack. He graded at 93 percent for the game. The senior lineman is part of a unit that has helped UK rush for 269.0 yards per game, which ranks 11th nationally.
The Cats return to the field this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET when they play host to South Carolina at Kroger Field. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and fans can listen to the action on the UK Sports Network.
Photo by Britney Howard, UK Athletics