Benny Snell ended each of his three seasons at Kentucky in a bowl game. How his second season ended in the Music City Bowl motivated him to finish his career on a high note in the Citrus Bowl.
The Kentucky running back was starting to get into a rhythm on a cold December evening in Nashville when his night was cut short. An official tried to help Snell up off the turf. When Snell shushed away the official’s hands, he took it personal. A flag was thrown and Benny was ejected after only six carries for 15 yards. More than a year later, he’s still not over it.
“It always sticks with me because one of the records I wanted to break was how many yards I could get in a single season,” Snell told Kentucky Sports Radio. “They kicked me out and it just ruined it.”
Instead of contending with Moe Williams’ record, Snell was sidelined, forced to watch from the locker room as his team finished two yards away from a victory. That memory all but ensured he would play in the Citrus Bowl.
“I wanted to play with everything I had in me, how bad I got shorted from a bowl game, I felt like I had no choice but to play in this bowl game.”
Snell ultimately made the decision to play with his teammates. Once Josh Allen and Benny were convinced to play one more game, the entire group of seniors was prepared to get one more win.
“We sat down, talked about it. It was what was best for each guy, so we basically had a vote all across and it was clear, we all wanted to play. It wasn’t that hard of a decision,” he said. “We came in here fighting, so we’re going to end fighting.”
Snell’s fight ended with a record-setting performance in the Citrus Bowl. Up 20-7, Snell was 12 yards away from the end zone and seven away from becoming Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher.
“This is the one right here,” he thought as fans chanted, ‘Benny! Benny! Benny!’
“As soon as I crossed the pylon, I dropped down. I closed my eyes and looked up. ‘God thank you so much. God, it happened.’ I was just praying all before the game. I just had high hopes of finishing what I wanted to do. I’m worried about injury. I’m worried about trying to get the win. I had a whole bunch of things on my mind, but all praise to the most high.”
Benny Snell was denied history once. He would not let it happen again at the Citrus Bowl.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) January 3, 2019