A season filled with surprises has a surprise ending. Kentucky is heading to the
Gator TaxSlayer Bowl.
“We were the only school in the SEC that has not participated in this bowl,” Mark Stoops said at Monday’s press conference. “It will be fun for us. Just trying to knock down another door.”
Stoops isn’t a demolition man, he’s just a fan of using that metaphor to say, “we’re doing things that haven’t been done here in a long time.” Here’s a list of some of the doors Stoops’ troops have busted through in 2016.
1. Kentucky is bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
2. The Cats won the Governor’s Cup for the first time since 2010. It was UK’s first win over a ranked opponent on the road since 2002.
3. UK has two 1,000 rushers for the first time in program history, the only Power 5 school to accomplish that feat in 2016.
4. UK set a record for yards per carry at 5.5, breaking the record of 4.94 per carry in 1974.
5. UK’s 2,895 rushing yards are the third-most in program history, only 65 behind the 1976 Peach Bowl Champs. If UK rushes for 230 yards against Georgia Tech (11 yards short of their average), it will be the new UK record for most rushing yards in a season.
6. Kentucky finished .500 in the SEC for the first time since 2006.
7. This happened, if only for a moment:
8. The Cats won on a field goals in the last minute, not once, but twice. Only one other player has hit two game-winning field goals in the final minute: Doug Pelphrey.
9. The Kentucky offense racked up more than 581 yards of offense four times this season, a new record.
10. The Cats finished the regular season with seven wins for the first time since 2009, also the last time UK finished with a winning record.
There are probably more. Pardon me for missing one or two, but there’s too many to keep track of; it was that kind of a year for the Kentucky football team.