We are one week closer to sports and one week closer to finding out the BBN’s favorite football play of the 21st century. Here are the results from last week’s round:
1. Stevie Got Loose (52%) vs 8. Lynn Bowden’s Walk-off.
2. Stevie in the back of the endzone/4th& 2 vs 7. Kentucky Ends the Streak (82%)
3. Lamar Fumble/Austin MacGinnis winner (73%) vs 11. Stephen Soars Over Rocky Top
5. Missouri Miracle (75%) vs 13. Lorenzen’s No-look pass
Final Four, Let’s do it.
1. Stevie Got Loose (2007) vs 5. The Missouri Miracle (2018)
‘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.
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.
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) October 27, 2018
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.
3. Lamar Fumble/ Austin MacGinnis winner (2016) vs 7. Kentucky Ends the Streak (2018)
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.
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.
Check back next week to determine BBN’s favorite Kentucky football moment!