Seeing the schedule released has gotten everybody all excited for the potential for football in almost a month. And the opening game is certainly juicy. At Auburn provides the Cats with a very good opportunity. First, it’s not an impossible game. If we had Georgia or Alabama right off the bat, the odds of winning that game would be long. But Auburn, despite being favored, is a winnable game but a serious challenge as well. I think it’s the perfect situation for the Cats. You can’t lose barring getting blown out. Win the game and it makes shockwaves. Lose close and people think you still did something special.
But I always like thinking about the history of this game. And when I saw at Auburn to start the year my mind went to what I consider the most baffling UK football win in my lifetime. One that truly made no sense whatsoever. 2009, Kentucky 21, Auburn 14.
Let’s look back at what that game was all about. First of all, Kentucky came into the game 2-3 on the year while Auburn was 5-1. This was the Morgan Newton/Will Fidler team with a sophomore Randall Cobb. Actually it was Mike Hartline’s team but Hartline was injured in the previous game against South Carolina and was done for the year. UK was coming in on a 3-game losing streak. Auburn was 5-1 but was coming off a loss to Arkansas. But with the QB issues, UK was a heavy underdog in this game. Plus, UK hadn’t beat Auburn since 1966.
And then the game itself was wild. Auburn returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. Then, in UK fashion, they gave up a touchdown with 6 seconds left in the 1st half to go down 14-7 at the break. UK’s offense, especially the passing game, was anemic at best. For the entire game, UK completed 9 passes for 82 yards. UK still trailed 14-7 with just under 7 minutes left in the game before a series of great plays and good breaks all went in UK’s favor. Will Fidler rushed for a touchdown to tie the game and then two Randall Cobb rushes led to the game winning touchdown with 3 minutes to play. The UK defense held and that was that. A game where the UK defense shined and Randall Cobb stepped up when needed most and the Cats had one of the most surprising wins in UK history.
Highlights are limited:
A win next month would certainly not be as shocking as that game but any win at Auburn would be memorable. Hopefully there will be longer and better highlights than this. But it’s always fun to look back at some of the rare great wins of that era of UK football.