Lynn Bowden continues to prove he might be the best offensive player in the SEC.
The junior wide receiver/quarterback/running back turned in another huge performance over the weekend as he rushed for 284 yards, an SEC single-game record for a quarterback, and had a career-high four touchdowns in Kentucky’s 45-13 blowout over Louisville in the Governor’s Cup.
Bowden had touchdown runs of 60 and 46 yards in the third quarter alone while completing only one of two passes for 4 yards.
Overall, Kentucky ran for more than 400 yards for the third consecutive game.
Just how good was Bowden? Pro Football Focus created a special category just for Bowden so they could put him in the Week 14 Eckrich Team of the Week. PFF listed Bowden in the “flex offense” category.
“A performance so special yielded its own position on our offensive team of the week as Bowden set all sorts of records with his performance against Louisville. He finished second in the country at any position with 284 rushing yards while he racked up the national-best 150 yards after contact on the ground. He ran for four touchdowns and had six more first-down carries, breaking 12 tackles in the process.”
Lynn Bowden outruns the entire Louisville defense to get into the end zone! pic.twitter.com/milwLhyKNV
— No Huddle College Football (@NoHuddleCFB_) November 30, 2019
Lynn Bowden, meet Tony Pollard.
Pollard was a fourth-round pick by Dallas this past NFL draft, even though he wasn’t a starter at running back for Memphis.
In fact, Pollard wasn’t even the No. 2 running back on the Tigers’ depth chart. Those duties went to Darrell Henderson, who was drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Rams, and Patrick Taylor, a senior draft hopeful himself this year who has missed much of this season with a lingering ankle injury.
Pollard was third on the team in rushing last season with 552 yards, 3 touchdowns and 7.1 yards per carry.
But what made him such an intriguing pick – and why he was drafted in the fourth round – was his receiving ability and versatility on offense. Pollard finished second on the team in both receiving yards (458) and receptions (33). He finished the season with 1,010 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns.
Now? He’s seventh in the league among rookie running backs with 238 yards rushing while serving as Ezekiel Elliott’s primary backup. He’s also chipped in 9 catches for 81 yards.
This year’s version of Pollard is Bowden, Kentucky’s jack-of-all-trades on offense.
Bowden leads the team with 824 yards rushing while averaging 7 yards per carry to go along with 5 touchdowns.
Bowden, who goes by the nickname “Six,” also leads the team in receptions with 23, and his 219 receiving yards is second on the team.
As if that resume wasn’t already impressive enough, injuries has forced Bowden into the role of starting quarterback for the Wildcats, where he’s third on the team in passing yards.
Let that percolate for a moment.
That’s right, Bowden, a former high school quarterback, has passed for 317 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT this season while completing 50 percent of his passes.
Now are you impressed? There’s more.
Last season, Bowden led his team in receiving yards, with 745 yards on 67 receptions and 5 TDs. He also chipped in 25 rushing yards.
And don’t forget his special teams’ ability, as Bowden was one of three players nationally who had 2 punt return touchdowns (on just five returns!) while returning 25 kickoffs for an average of 21. 6 yards.
It’s unknown if Bowden is thinking about declaring early for the draft, although there is media speculation that he could be Kentucky’s starting QB should he return for his senior season.
The 6-foot-1, 199-pound junior entered Saturday’s game ranked 15th nationally in yards per carry and was 10th in all-purpose yards at 142.3 per game, although that does not include his passing yards.
And the hype-train ratcheted up a notch earlier this month, when a clip of Bowden’s high school highlights went viral. You can watch it below.
QB, WR, RB, Punter…
— Hudl (@Hudl) November 22, 2019
Bowden is the No. 93 prospect in Fanspeak’s CBS-Josh Edwards big board and the No. 155 prospect in the Fanspeak-Jake big board. ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper ranks Bowden as the No. 10 WR in a loaded receiver class.