Wow! Thats really all I can say from a night that will go down as one of the 3 best in my sports fan life. If you were in Commonwealth Stadium last night, then this you know…..Kentucky’s 40-34 victory over the Cards is as sweet as it gets. On a day when the parking lots were filled with tailgaters by 11 am and the stadium was as packed as it will ever be, Kentucky outhustled, out-hit, out-coached and out-desired a Louisville team and fanbase that had made a living in the last four years of expounding on its superiority. And in one late moment (as Brooks M said: “Stevie Johnson got LOOSE”), it all came tumbling down and Kentucky football got the moment it has so long deserved.
Last night’s game had it all. You had the continued amazing play of Andre Woodson…..a defense that played as well as one could have envisioned…..a Rafeal Little performance that is a bit overshadowed but that was as impressive as I have seen…..line play in which Kentucky, YES KENTUCKY, controlled the line of scrimmage in ways previously unknown. Add to that questionable calls that added to the drama, (option on 4th and 1? dont go for 2? Absurd Personal foul at the end)bits of karma that seemed to signal the impossible (did that extra point really get tipped over the goalpost? did Louisville really go for it on 4th and 6? did Stevie really get LOOOOSE?) and you have an experience unlike any other. Simply put, it was the best football experience I have ever had and there was no Chris Doering or Bluegrass Miracle to spoil it.
There are plenty of tales to be told from a wild Saturday in Lexington…..but the focus really should be on a team and a fanbase that deserved this like no other. Andre Woodson, Rafeal Little, Jacob Tamme, Wesley Woodyard, Marcus McClinton, etc……all Seniors and all guys who made big plays to get the victory. Rich Brooks, much-maligned by all, but loved by his players, came through with a victory as big as any in my lifetime and one that will rank among the all time best in program history. And the fans…..at its core, this is for the fans. I sat in Section 127 because I knew this was a game for the press box….this was a game to cheer my head off, be overcome by a game so tense that I left feeling like i played and to celebrate with the happiest group of fans I have ever seen. We follow sports for nights like this. Last night was one of those moments that make sports worthwhile…..and for Kentucky football fans, it was a long-time coming. Dont let anyone (especially a UL backer attempting to reign on your parade) tell you this wasnt great……the Cats beat a top 10 team and looked like the BETTER team throughout the game….they are now ranked #23 and UK football led off every SportsCenter of one of the bigger college football Saturdays of the year. It doesnt get better than this…..and if anyone dressed in red tells you otherwise, just remember……in the end, no matter what anyone says…..with the game on the line……Stevie got LOOSE!