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Kentucky’s Unbelievable End to The Streak

(Photo: USA Today/Kim Klement)

It’s odd to see the end of The Streak.  Of course, it had to have an unusual ending.

A year after Kentucky suffered one of the most painful losses in the 31-year history of The Streak, ambivalence filled the Big Blue Nation.  Some were prepared to once again drink the Kool-Aid, while many others refused to get their hopes up, only to be heartbroken once again.  It took ten minutes of game time to get everyone on board.

Kentucky’s defense stopped Florida on the first possession, paving the way for the offense to roll into the end zone.  Kentucky’s fast start was a nice surprise.  It was the first of many.

Benny Snell carried a light workload in the first half.  It became a concern when the turnover bug returned to bite Terry Wilson.  The quarterback turned broken plays into big plays, but fumbled in Florida territory and threw an interception in the final seconds of the first half that kept three points off the scoreboard.

Trailing at halftime, the Cats left the locker room and immediately changed the game.  Kentucky opened the second half with a 10-play 90-yard touchdown drive that came entirely on the ground.  On the next drive, the Cats only moved the ball through the air.  A third and 16 turned into a 54-yard Lynn Bowden touchdown — his first career score and the longest pass of Wilson’s young career — that gave Kentucky a 21-10 lead.

The plot thickened.

Just when you thought the Cats quit shooting themselves in the foot, flags were flying all over the field.  Kentucky committed 12 penalties for 114 yards.  It was just enough for doubt to creep back into the collective mind of the Big Blue Nation. “We’ve seen this before,” we thought, until something weird happened.

Florida lined up for a chip-shot field goal and missed…or did they?  It looked like the ball sailed through the uprights, but the referee said it was no good, a call that cannot be reviewed.

The Cats were finally catching breaks against Florida, then Darius West caught Feleipe Franks ill-advised throw.  The game was in Kentucky’s hands, but of course, it could not be that easy.

UK could not turn West’s interception into points.  Instead they put Florida on the one-yard line.  A stop and a few first downs would ice the game.  The stop almost came on a third and 28, but Florida found a way to keep the drive alive.  They finished a 99-yard drive with a touchdown and proceeded to go for two to close the lead to three.  Franks missed a wide open receiver on the right side of the field.  Instead he went left and the ball was tipped out of bounds.

Kentucky had a five-point lead, but Florida had one more chance to keep The Streak alive.

As time ticked away, Franks dropped back to pass.  The odds to score were slim, but anything was possible.  As Franks prepared to heave a prayer down the field, Josh Allen hit him in the backfield.  The ball popped loose and everybody stopped.  Upon the naked eye, it looked like an incomplete pass.  Davonte Robinson picked up the ball and jogged toward the end zone.  Everybody assumed the play was dead.  As time expired, Robinson realized the whistle had not blown and he stretched his arm across the end zone.

Kentucky secured a 27-16 win to snap The Streak in the most surprising, unusual way possible.  It couldn’t happen any other way.

We don’t have highlights from KY Wildcats TV, but we do have the following package from the SEC Network and this.

Impressive Stats

Dominant Offensive Line — The offensive line paved the way for 303 rushing yards.  They bullied the Gators upfront (Bunchy Stallings almost killed a guy on a late, crucial third down) and protected Terry Wilson.  Kentucky’s quarterback didn’t get sacked and he never took a hit.

Road Dogs — For the second straight year, Kentucky’s second game of the season was a win on the road.  This one came against a ranked opponent.  Kentucky has not won an SEC opener in consecutive years since 06-07.

Feels like the First Time — Kentucky has never beaten a ranked Florida team in The Swamp, until today.  It’s UK’s largest margin of victory in a road win vs. a ranked SEC opponent since October 15th, 1977 at LSU.

Kash Money — Kentucky’s middle linebacker has 11 tackles in each of his first two starts. Stats have yet to be updated from around the league, but it’s safe to say he’s the SEC’s top tackler.

Third Down — It may have seemed like Kentucky’s defense struggled to get off the field on third down.  They actually held Florida to 7-of-13 on third down while converting 9-of-13 times.

Stupid Offense — Kentucky averaged 8 yards per play and 7.4 yards per rush.  The only way I can describe that stat is stupid. I guess conservative play-calling isn’t so bad after all.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

31 Comments for Kentucky’s Unbelievable End to The Streak

  1. cats646
    4:19 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Wwooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m still so freaking pumped!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you coach Stoops!!!! Anyone still calling for his job just stfu!

  2. Greatcatfan
    4:28 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Mr. Roush the conservative play calling did rear it’s drawback in the second half. If we attacked on the Int and the next possession we wouldn’t have had to worry about the last drive. Not Stoops bashing just saying as a matter of fact.

    • CatsfaninFL
      9:53 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

      Or we take no time off the clock, leaving UF more time on final drive, and not allowing Josh Allen to pin his ears back knowing they would be passing. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts…

    • Mathlete
      9:54 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

      Conservative play calling that kept Florida from causing about turnover.

      Stop nitpicking the coaching staff and allow yourself 5 seconds of joy to celebrate a win

    • Greatcatfan
      11:54 am September 11, 2018 Permalink

      I am enjoying the win, I was just pointing out where he made the comment knocking people who complain the conservative plays super late game are to vanilla and leaves opponents time to beat us last min. Kinda like UF could have done if not for Frank’s wussiness under pressure. They had time things just went our way this year. I’m just saying don’t keep throwing in the Wildcat when your moving the ball better under center and occasionally go PA pass where the qb rolls out and immediately slides (even for a loss on 3rd cause will be punting anyway) if nothings there.

  3. Vile_Revolver
    4:53 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    I am still in a pleasant state of shock! I am pleased that UK finally removed the burden of “The Streak” and doing so down in The Swamp made the victory all the more sweeter!

    • Luether
      8:18 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

      Ky looked and played like an SEC caliber football team that wanted the game more than its opponent did…

  4. W1ldCats4Life
    6:09 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    When I watched the game, I felt like we just dominated it….other than it seemed we stalled a bit in 2nd half.

    When I look at the stats, it shows we rushed much better, but I get the feeling we were lucky to get the W, and this game was extremely close.

    I think the bigger picture take away is we have a lot we can still cleanup and a lot of upside with this team. The penalties and mistakes really hurt….hopefully we get that resolved quickly. Then this team can do even more special things.

    6:54 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    I am thrilled to death for our players! They have earned this moment. Our coaches still have a lot to prove to me, but I am happier than a pig in slop that the streak is over!

  6. Natureboy42
    8:03 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Am I really seeing people in here nit picking the coaches and players after we just dominated Florida in the swamp to end a 31 year losing streak. Damn it guys enjoy this one you can go back to criticizing on Monday

    • RealCatsFan
      9:44 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

      If I had a “like” button to click while on the mobile version of KSR I would hit it. Well said, and yes, I have been one of Stoops’ critics in the past. Well done, guys!

  7. Irish son
    8:18 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Why wont these videos ever play for me?

  8. UKFootballYall
    8:20 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Awesome win!! Saw we were predicted to have a 13% chance to win. Remind me not to hire that statistician to manage my investment portfolio. Go Cats!!

  9. J. Did
    8:21 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    GO CATS!

  10. wyatts1
    8:33 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    This team has heart!! This team will never be completely out of any game this year once terry locks up that football. GREAT JOB CATS!!! and GREAT JOB TO THE COACHES!!

  11. TheAssman
    8:48 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    1st to admit I was wrong. What a win!!

  12. BumpusCat
    9:03 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    It’s the next day and I still have happy tears. Love this team!!!!

    • RealCatsFan
      9:41 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

      The best part of that article might be the comment from the fan suggesting that UF should give up football. You mad, Bro? 🙂

  13. RealCatsFan
    9:54 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    We probably would have won anyway, but Stoops deserves props for the heady way he recognized the fumble and yelled for his player to get in the end zone. Question: if he had tried to toss that ball to an official and Florida player had intercepted it, could that player have taken it the other way for a TD?

    • WildcatCam
      12:52 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, they could’ve scored on the fumble recovery, too!

  14. bailey000
    10:01 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve been looking for all the trolls. Where are u? Finally shut em up…?? This is as great a start to a season as we could ask for. I hope they put there head down and go to work. Get through Murray St uninjured and be ready for miss st. As a fan I can look past an opponent. Lol. Everyone in the country will be talking about Florida be bad and Kentucky being descent. I am anxious to get Miss St at home. We need to sell out Kroger and make it electric in there. If we can get a win in that game I think we get the recognition we deserve. Watched ESPN this morning and was aggravated as all hell. That being said it will keep that big chip on our guys shoulder. As fans we have got to support this team. They need us to push through the ceiling here. If Terry continues to improve and the defense cleans up a little bit more every week… I don’t even wanna say what I’m thinking cause it’s week 2 but y’all know

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:27 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

      Wheres kjd? He was super mouthy DURING the game. Nothing since…

  15. ziplock
    11:25 am September 9, 2018 Permalink

    Thank God it’s over! The Knight Rider was still on TV the last time we beat them in football!

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:28 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

      We know, bro…

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:38 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

      This might blow your mind, but – WCS played WR in high school….

  16. 1stkatman
    1:27 pm September 9, 2018 Permalink

    One stat on the list that was left out was Josh Allen’s sack on the QB on that last play. The ball stayed alive and we scored. That is a sack, folks!