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2ND ROUND: What is the Best Kentucky Football Play of the 21st Century?

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Before we get this thing started once again, I want to extend a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there in the BBN! If you can, go do something nice for your pops today.

Now, we have reached the second round of the bracket to determine which Kentucky football play of the 21st Century is the BBN’s favorite.

Here were the results from the first round:

1.Stevie Got Loose (91%) vs 16. Javess Blue’s One-handed Catch

2. Stevie in the back of the endzone/4th& 2 (53%) vs 15. Boom Williams overtime touchdown in the Swamp

3. Lamar Fumble/ Austin MacGinnis winner (84%) vs 14. Jenkins Liberty Bowl stiff arm

4. Benny Snell’s Record-Breaking touchdown vs 13. Lorenzen’s No-look Pass (51%)

5. Bowden’s Punt Return/ CJ Conrad’s game-winner (80%) vs 12. Derek Abney ties return record

6. Bud Dupree’s Pick Six vs 11. Stephen Johnson flies over Rocky Top (53%)

7. Kentucky Ends the Streak (82%) vs 10. MacGinnis Saves the Stoops era

8. Lynn Bowden’s Belk Bowl-winner (77%) vs 9. Hartline Finds Cobb to beat Spurrier and USC

 

Let’s get the second round underway.


(1) Stevie got Loose (2007) vs (8) Bowden’s Belk Bowl Walk-Off (2019)

What is there to say about this play? ‘Stevie Got Loose’ is a play that will remain ingrained into the memories of Kentucky football fans forever. Just three games into a 2007 season that also saw the Cats topple top-ranked LSU and a Music City Bowl victory over Bobby Bowden and Florida State, Kentucky started its fun run with a victory over Steve Kragthorpe’s Louisville Cardinals.

The Cardinals were National Championship hopefuls ahead of the 2007 season, and a historic Kentucky senior class that included Andre Woodson, Stevie Johnson, Keenan Burton, Rafael Little, Jacob Tamme and Wesley Woodyard had never beaten the Cardinals. As a matter of fact, Andre Woodson was 0-7 against Louisville’s Brian Brohm dating back to high school.

But, with one breakaway route on the sideline, the Cats kicked off their memorable 2007 season with this win over Louisville.

 

It was truly the perfect end to a rocky season for the Wildcats. After exhausting all their options at quarterback, halfway through the season Mark Stoops and Eddie Gran would turn to wide receiver Lynn Bowden to finish out the season.

Bowden would lead the Cats to five wins at quarterback, primarily winning games with his own two legs. However, at the Belk Bowl, Bowden would deliver the final punch unexpectedly through the air.

 

What’s the Better Play?

1. Stevie Got Loose (2007)
8. Bowden’s Belk Bowl Walk-Off (2019)
Created with Quiz Maker Online

(2) Stevie in the Back of the Endzone/4th & 2 vs (7) Kentucky Ends the Streak

Kentucky was off to its best start in over four decades: 5-1, ranked seventeenth in the nation. One day after Billy Gillespie was introduced at Big Blue Madness, all eyes were on Lexington when the top-ranked LSU Tigers came marching into Commonwealth Stadium for the first time since the Bluegrass Miracle.

In dramatic, three-overtime fashion, Andre Woodson found Stevie Johnson in the back of the end zone to put the Cats up by six, but Kentucky would go on to miss the mandatory two-point conversion. Once again, it felt like Kentucky’s signature moment would slip through the fingertips once again.

Three plays later, Verne Lunquist didn’t think LSU’s Charles Scott got two yards.

Florida was down five from their own six-yard line with 29 seconds left. The probability of the Gators winning was low, but after 31 consecutive years of heartbreak, the BBN couldn’t watch. Franks hit his guy for a pick up of 19 yards to start the drive, and the whole fanbase got a little uneasy.

Then, with nine seconds left, Franks tried to take one more shot. Josh Allen didn’t let him, and Davonte Robinson scooped it up and put it end the end zone. Despite some late-game uncertainty, this was the perfect cap to a long, 31-year drought.

 

What’s the Better Play?

2. Stevie in the Back of the End Zone/ 4th & 2 (2007)
7. Kentucky Ends the Streak (2018)
Created with QuizMaker

(3) Lamar Fumble/ Austin MacGinnis Game Winner(2016) vs (11) Stephen Johnson Flies over Rocky Top (2017)

Did you see him pose? Did you see him fumble?

After becoming Bowl Eligible in 2016 – which was an accomplishment in and of itself –  Kentucky had one last game against the 11th-ranked Louisville Cardinals and Heisman winner Lamar Jackson. For the first time in two years, Kentucky’s postseason hopes didn’t hinge on this game against Louisville. That alone was fun. But once things kicked off at Cardinal Stadium, it was evident the Cats came to play.

There are several plays to choose from this game, don’t get me wrong, but these two are iconic. Louisville’s prolific offense was in field goal range and with Lamar Jackson running the show, points were almost inevitable. You know what happens next.

Everyone hates Tennessee, and that’s just how it is. However, Kentucky fans had only seen one victory against the Vols in thirty-some-odd years. The Cats needed to beat Butch Jones’ dumpster fire Tennessee team.

Kentucky was holding onto a one-point lead early in the second half when quarterback Stephen Johnson went down with a shoulder injury. It was not unusual to see Johnson get banged up here and there, but it was alarming to see him go into the locker room for evaluations. Two plays later, Drew Barker fumbled the ball. It was time to panic. The Big Blue Nation knew the Cats needed Stephen Johnson in order to beat the Vols.

Minutes later, a hushed Kroger Field roared into cheers as No. 15 sprinted out of the locker room and back onto the sideline, ready to help the Cats overcome a 23-21 deficit.

Johnson marched the Cats down the field. With the goal line in reach, the quarterback scrambled for a 17-yard run. He threw a stiff-arm, leaped into the air, and willed his body over the goal line onto his injured shoulder. Regardless of his injury, he put it all on the line in the name of victory.

Johnson put his body on the line for a win with one play that would come to define his career as a Wildcat. KSR’s photographer Dr. Mike snapped the pictures to prove it.

 

What’s the Better Play?

3. Lamar Fumble/ MacGinnis Kick (2016)
11. Stephen Johnson Soars Over Rocky Top (2017)
Created with Quiz Maker

(5) Bowden’s Punt Return/ CJ Conrad’s Game Winner vs (13) Lorenzen’s No-Look Pass (2002)

Kentucky was ranked No. 12 in the nation ahead of its showdown against Missouri. A win against the Tigers would guarantee Kentucky a one-on-one matchup with Georgia for the SEC East the following week.

Missouri’s win probability sat at 96.5 percent, with Kentucky trailing 14-3 with five minutes and some change left. Needing a spark, Lynn Bowden decided to tell Coach Stoops and Dean Hood that he wanted to return the punt.

Mark Stoops said the conversation when about like this, “He was like, ‘Coach,’ and I’m like, ‘Go, go do it, man.’ What do we got to lose at that point? ‘Go, go do your thing.’”

Then, Lynn Bodwen did his thing.

This put Kentucky right back in the game with an energized defense that had forced six straight three-and-outs on the other side. There was now a glimpse of hope for a final drive. Kentucky worked the ball deep into Missouri territory.

Ten yards to go in four seconds. A little too far for a Benny Snell punch in and a little too squeezed to run some elaborate route pattern. Kentucky just had to throw it up to the tall guys and hope for the best, so they called on the tallest guy they had; former Iowa basketball player Ahmad Wagner, who hadn’t played a snap all season.

Kentucky ran a fade to the back corner of the end zone and Wagner made a spectacular catch over the Tiger defender, but it was out of bounds. Gut punch.

Then, out of nowhere a flag flies in. Pass interference on Missouri.

One more shot for Kentucky – this time, the ball was on the two. It was almost a certainty Benny Snell would get it and fight for those two-yards. In fact, that was almost the play call. But tight end CJ Conrad wanted the ball.

With Missouri in an all-out blitz, CJ Conrad ran an out-route that will live forever in Kentucky history.

What would this list be without a play from the Hefty Lefty? Of course, there are plenty of plays to choose from when it comes to Lorenzen’s impressive career, so why not pick the most ridiculous.

I’m not going to front, I was too young to witness this play. It’s been 18 years, and I still can’t believe he pulled off this overhead pass.

 

What’s the Better Play?

5. Missouri Miracle (2018)
13. JLo’s No-look Pass (2002)
Created with QuizMaker

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_