I truly had an uneasy feeling about today’s game. I am not sure whether it was the performance against Sylvester Croom and his moustache two weeks ago, the residual pessimism after Gardner-Webb or just memories of Vandy games of the past. But I was somewhat nervous about the results today. And for a while, the game fit stereotypes of bad Kentucky football games of yesteryear. There were the breakdowns in protection, the odd decisions at key points and the utterly hideous, completely indefensible incompetence of the officiating crew. We had played this record before and it very rarely, if ever, turned out sweet music.
But then all of a sudden the notes sounded much better. There was an idiotic unnecessary roughness penalty that gave Kentucky a field goal at the end of the first half. We saw Rafeal Little and Derrick Locke get some space and showcase their skills. And in the second half the defense was even putting forth strong effort despite their fatigue. On the last drive, as many sat nervous, I felt a sense of peace…..a sense that was rewarded after Kentucky football did what it would never have done in the past…..allow 3 fourth down conversions and the stop the fourth attempt. That my friend is not normal Kentucky football….normal Kentucky football is looking back and picking out at least 7 plays that, if they had gone different, would have produced a different result. This team however fights through that adversity and goes ahead and gets the victory.
All in all, it was a great day in Nashville. The city was packed with Cat fans and last night on the streets of downtown Nashville (and shouldnt we require the SEC Tournament every year to be either in Nashville or New Orleans….no other choices allowed), it was if a Dawhares convention had rolled into town. Blue everywhere and glee at the impending win that all were expecting. The UK Alumni Tailgate was HUGE with hundreds of people and a great atmosphere that should be emulated for future events. Combine that with a stadium that seemed at times like Commonweath South and you get a great Saturday in November. As I speak Tebow is making our SEC Title game chances slim, but the possiblity of a top-notch bowl still exists. I am supposed to move on Saturday, but it is hard to think of turning down a trip to Athens….either way, today was a great victory over the Vanderbilt Protractors and gets us our first back to back 7 win seasons since the late 70s. Play on Rich Brooks, play on…….