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Kentucky will Play Northwestern for the First Time in 89 Years

The 1928 freshman footballers at Stoll Field, via UK’s Digital Library.

For the second consecutive year, Kentucky is playing an unfamiliar opponent in the postseason.  The Cats had an SEC past with the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech, but that’s not the case with Northwestern.

The two Wildcats have only met once on the football field.  Northwestern defeated Kentucky 7-0 on October 20, 1928.  Corey Price dug up The Courier-Journal article from 89 years ago.

Even though I have yet to extensively research UK’s bowl opponent, I can say with 100 percent confidence there will be more offense in the 2017 matchup than the 1928 game.

With more than 30,000 spectators in Evanston, Illinois, the young Wildcats gained just 71 yards to Northwestern’s 173.  The home team picked up 15 first downs compared to Kentucky’s three.  However, one electric first down came from old Baldy Gilb.  Poor old Baldy had an unfortunate nickname and a 27-yard gain, the Cats’ biggest play of the game.

Ahead of the times, Northwestern aired it out against Kentucky.  The “Purples” completed 9-of-18 passes for 116 yards, including a 20-yarder for a touchdown that was the game’s sole score.

Despite their lack of success against the pass, author Gerald Griffin blamed UK’s downfall on youth and poor punting.  Kentucky averaged just 25 yards per punt and failed to ever flip the field.  Surely Kentucky’s Australian kicker could do that with his eyes closed on Decebmer 29.

Even though the 89-year old matchup means nothing to this month’s game, it’s always fun to look back and see phrases like “oval,” “eleven,” “linesmen” and “bosom” used to describe a football game.  Read the article in its entirety after the jump.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

3 responses to “Kentucky will Play Northwestern for the First Time in 89 Years”

  1. HillbillyInBC

    Note that Carey Spicer (“Kentucky’s tallest back”) also has a retired jersey hanging in the rafters at Rupp.

  2. DennyC


  3. tree_gardener

    It’s impossible to read that article