Kentucky does not need Mark Stoops to give a “win one for the Gipper” pregame speech. The Cats have plenty of motivation heading into The Swamp.
At the forefront of conversation is Kentucky’s 31-game losing streak to Florida. Even the players who did not grow up watching Kentucky football, like A.J. Rose, know all too well about The Streak.
“I’m tired of hearing about The Streak,” the running back said earlier this week. “It’d be good to break that, but we’re going to go in and just play our game. We’re not going in there thinking about what they’re saying or to just break The Streak. We’re worried about playing our game and hopefully coming out with a win.”
Drake Jackson did grow up cheering for Kentucky. The Woodford County native knows what’s at stake.
“Everybody knows that we have to go out and win this game. We’re worried about ourselves more than we are about them. We’re not worried about watching that game to motivate us. We are already motivated to go out there and play them because everybody knows about the streak.”
“That game” Drake referred to is last year’s loss one-point loss at Kroger Field. It has haunted the Big Blue Nation ever since. Even though the coaches didn’t play it on repeat inside the football complex, it’s still fresh in C.J. Conrad’s mind.
“It definitely stuck with me this whole offseason. I was upset like everyone else because I thought we played well enough to win that game, so I also think it’s giving us a lot of confidence going into this year just knowing that we had that game and we lost it. At the end of the day, all offseason this has fueled us. It’s finally that time and we’re excited.”
Florida added even more fuel to Kentucky’s fire. This week multiple Gators provided the Cats with bulletin board material. The players are tired of all the talk.
“We’re just ready to play at this point. That’s what we’re going hard for,” said George Asafo-Adjei. “We’ll be ready. That’s all I got to say.”