It’s hard to find optimism when the season ends with a 15-point loss. Especially when it’s against a team that runs a high school offense. Still, it can’t overshadow Kentucky’s 2016 turnaround.
Mark Stoops said it best after the game. “I can’t let one game get myself or this team down or take anything away from the good things that they did.”
The best thing they did was beat No. 11 Louisville on the road, ensuring Kentucky’s first winning record since 2009. That victory was one of many — Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and South Carolina — that proved Kentucky can fight through adversity to win close games.
“We had adversity,” Stoops said. “It’s just how you respond to it, whether it’s injuries, different things, bad starts, bad breaks, bad play, bad coaching. You have to overcome it. The better you are, you know, you’ll overcome things. Our football team has come a long, long way. I’m very proud of them.
“They’ve improved. Again, they set the tone for the future. We have I want to say 36 of our top 44 back. That’s good for us and our future. We’re excited about it.”
“We’re so young and a lot of us got chemistry together,” Derrick Baity said. “We got to the bowl game together, so now we’re going to win a bowl game together.”
Always remember, happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.