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Keith Taylor: Boom Williams explosive in return, but loss to Auburn a 'tough' blow

 Boom Williams rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in Kentucky's 30-27 loss to Auburn Thursday night (Bill Thiry Photo)

Boom Williams rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns in Kentucky’s 30-27 loss to Auburn Thursday night (Bill Thiry Photo)

Stanley “Boom” Williams was glad to be back on the field, but he would have gladly traded his rushing yards for a win over Auburn in Kentucky’s first Thursday night home game in more than seven decades.
“I would give all my stats and everything away just to get the win,” Williams said.

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Williams, who sat out Kentucky’s 34-27 overtime triumph over Eastern Kentucky in the team’s last outing nearly two weeks ago while dealing with undisclosed personal issues, rushed for 113 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 30-27 loss to the Tigers.
“It felt real good to be back out there with my team,” Williams said. “I was able to go out there, make some plays and put us in position to score some points. It felt good to be back out there even though we came up short.”
Although pleased with his final numbers, Williams knows missed opportunities throughout, such as a Patrick Towles interception in the end zone and Dorian Baker’s dropped pass in the end zone in the second half prevented the Wildcats from making a bold statement.
“It’s very tough when you know that you have a chance to win, and knowing that you had a lot of opportunities to win the game,” Williams said. “We came up short against a good SEC opponent, such as Auburn. You’ve got to make those plays if you expect to win the game. We didn’t make enough plays to win this game.”
Kentucky was seeking its second straight 5-1 start to open the season and could have moved into a first-place tie with Florida in the SEC East with a win over the struggling Tigers. The Wildcats tried to duplicate the feat against an Auburn team determined to regain traction after opening conference play with two losses.
Williams was a big reason the Wildcats were almost successful at moving within one game of become bowl eligible before the end of October. After the Tigers scored with ease on their first possession, Williams carried the offense on his shoulders on the Wildcats’ opening series, using a 60-yard run on his second carry to set up his own 1-yard touchdown.
Williams went on to rush for 74 yards in the first two quarters and added 39 in the final half as the Wildcats used more of an aerial attack against Auburn’s secondary to make things interesting down the stretch after trailing 23-10 at the break.
“We made a lot of adjustments after we realized that we could play with them,” Williams said. “We had chances to win this game and all we had to do was go out there and make plays and do the things we’ve been coached to do. At the end of the day, it came down to us not making enough plays. We came up a little bit short.”
Kentucky needed every contribution it could get from Williams to keep the margin close and also got some help from the team’s receiving corps, namely Garrett Johnson, who hauled in a season-high nine catches for 160 yards.
“That helps when you have a lot of playmakers on offense,” Williams said. “We have good running backs, wide receivers and a good quarterback. We have a lot of weapons on this offense. I don’t expect to get the ball as much, because we have a lot of playmakers.”
Each of Kentucky’s six games have been determined by eight points or less and have come down to the final possession. Williams wasn’t discouraged by the loss and added the performance against the Tigers was indicative of the team’s progress.
“We know that we can play with anybody when we come ready to play and play our best,” Williams said. “We’ve just to make those plays to have a chance to win the game.”
As Williams knows, the Wildcats can’t focus on what could have been with six more games remaining in the regular season.
“We can’t dwell on this,” Williams said. “We have a long season ahead of us. We’ll take a couple of days off and get ready for Mississippi State.”

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