LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles threw for 170 yards and rushed for 59 more to lead the Wildcats to a 20-3 win over Ohio Saturday.
Towles completed 17 of 31 passes and one touchdown and led the Wildcats to their first 2-0 start since 2011. Although Kentucky's offense wasn't as explosive as last week's 59-14 rout of Tennessee Martin, it was enough to help the Wildcats avenge a 28-16 loss to the Bobcats in 2004.
Kentucky was without starting running back Braylon Heard who sat out because of a sprained ankle. Heard, a junior transfer from Nebraska, rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the team's opener last week.
JoJo Kemp and freshman Boom Williams split time in the backfield in Heard's absence. Williams led the Wildcats with 60 yards rushing on five carries, including a 53-yard touchdown run with 8:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Towles had six rushes of 10 yards or more on 22 attempts, including a 16-yard jaunt in the second quarter. Towles made successful completions to four different receivers, with sophomore receiver Ryan Timmons catching 10 passes for 95 yards, both career highs.
Dorian Baker had two catches for 41 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown reception to open Kentucky's scoring with 3:33 remaining in the first quarter.
After two straight scoring drives to open the contest, Kentucky's offense managed just three points on its final four possessions of the first half. Towles completed 10 of 17 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown in the first two quarters. He added 46 yards on 13 carries.
Ohio (1-1) avoided the shut out on Josiah Yazdani's 44-yard field goal at the 12:12 mark of the third quarter.
Kentucky held consecutive opponents scoreless in the first half for the first time since 1988.