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The Streak must end for Kentucky Football to move forward

© Mark Zerof | USATSI

© Mark Zerof | USATSI

I’m not going to sit here and tell you this is the year Kentucky finally beats Florida. That article’s been done time and time before, and frankly, after last year, I don’t have it in me anymore. What I am going to do is tell you is how, until the losing streak to Florida ends, Kentucky football cannot truly move forward.

Since the Cats beat the Gators 10-3 back in 1986, Kentucky’s had some success on the football field: ten bowl games; monumental wins over Alabama, No. 1 LSU, and arch rival Louisville; and stars like Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen, Stevie Johnson, Randall Cobb, and Benny Snell. The Cats even snapped a 26-year losing streak against Tennessee using a wide receiver at quarterback. There have been big moments, yes, but the one constant underlying it all is the annual loss to Florida. The proverbial kick in the groin; the zit on your face on the night of a big date; the seed of doubt you just can’t shake. Six Kentucky head coaches have gone up against the streak and failed to break it. Even Nick Saban is impressed.

Wrapped up in those 31 losses are the traits that make Kentucky football so Kentucky football; borne from heartache is the fortitude to withstand the annual cycle of hope, letdown, and self-deprecation and still come back for more. I’d argue only a few fanbases truly know what that’s like. I honestly doubt many more could handle it, which, in an odd way, makes me a little proud.

Of all of the bad losses Kentucky’s taken over the last 31 years, four to Florida rank up there with the worst. In 1993, the Cats had a 20-17 lead with three seconds left before Danny Wuerffel, a back-up, found Chris Doering, a walk-on, in the end zone for the winning score. On a night where Kentucky did so many things right, intercepting Florida SEVEN times, fate intervened.

If 1993 taught us about bad luck, 2003 taught us about self-sabotage. Kentucky had a 21-3 lead over Florida heading into the fourth quarter, but the Gators scored 21 straight to get the win. Included in the Cats’ fourth quarter collapse was an interception by Jared Lorenzen to set up the winning score and a missed field goal by Taylor Begley with 44 seconds left that could have forced overtime.

In 2014, we learned about human error, which sometimes means you can lose even when you’re ahead and the play clock’s at zero and the ball hasn’t been snapped. That one really hurt.

I don’t need to remind you about last year, possibly the cruelest loss of all. Witnessing a 27-14 fourth-quarter lead disappear felt entirely too familiar and the phrases “10 men on the field” and “wide open” are now etched into Kentucky football lore. On a night where actual experts picked the Cats to beat the Gators and it should have happened, the fact that it didn’t was the straw that broke many of our backs.

It’s impossible to read through all this and not be depressed, which is exactly why the streak has to end; until it does, it will only act as an anchor mooring Kentucky football to the worst version of itself. Imagine what life would be like without it. What would happen to all that pent up negativity? Would we become optimists? I bet we’d even start to like the checkerboard uniforms.

The fact that Dan Mullen, who went 8-1 against Kentucky as Mississippi State’s head coach, is now in charge in Gainesville doesn’t bode well for the future either. This would be the year to do it, with Mullen still building, the Gators looking vulnerable against the run, a pair of deadly running backs in Benny Snell and AJ Rose, and stars on defense.

But, if we learned anything from 2011, it’s that a streak like this will only end when you least expect it. So, please, keep the Kool-Aid away from me this week. I’m doing my part to change the mojo.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

41 Comments for The Streak must end for Kentucky Football to move forward

  1. runningunnin.454
    4:08 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Well, I’m going to have to take one of my new antidepressants…it’s called Damnitol.

  2. jimmer
    4:16 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Start Lynn Bowden at QB. It worked against UT to break the streak.

    • Cmart0907
      6:01 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      I like this idea.

    • KatsKlaws
      6:44 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      Lynn Bowden isn’t exactly knocking it out of the park with what he is currently being asked to do. Why don’t stop hyping him up as this “super athlete” until he actually does something noteworthy?

    • cats646
      6:50 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      In all honesty though, he is probably the most illusive player I’ve ever seen.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      9:26 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      Then I hope he eludes someone soon. Kid obviously has athleticism but so far he’s all hype.

    • ready4nineNOW
      11:28 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      All hype? Last week wasn’t his first outing, and he looked great as a true freshman.

    • Wade
      10:01 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

      I like it too, Lynn would fit great since we need to get him the ball might as well put it in his hands. He has a lot of randallcobb in him.

  3. secrick
    4:16 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Don’t think it will end this year but it doesn’t bother me as bad as it does Tyler. Play good and keep the game close and who knows.

  4. ClutchCargo
    4:17 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    I have had my hopes up nearly every year, starting with 1987. That has clearly been the reason for the losing streak, so I will do my part and lower my expectations.

  5. dylangeorge7988
    4:23 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    The sun must rise for daylight to occur

  6. Realme
    4:27 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Low expectations here also. Do any other teams in the SEC have bad streaks like this? Has Vandy lost 20 in a row to anybody?

    • ClutchCargo
      4:52 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      The part that really sucks is that Vandy (FREAKIN’ VANDY!!!) has beaten UF since we have, and have come close a few other times.

  7. Kernel Sanders
    4:43 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong; the losing streak sucks. Maybe I’m just used to it by now, but I disagree that the program can’t move forward without beating Florida. If we lose this game, but go 8-4 this year, beat UT and UofL, and take a step up in bowl game quality, then I’d say we are moving forward.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:49 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      For me there will always be a sense of what could have been if that streak continues. Especially since they haven’t exactly been setting the college football world on fire since Urban Liar left.

    • notFromhere
      5:08 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      Kernel Sanders telling it like it is! If they keep increasing their win totals it will take care of itself eventually

    • east-ky-boy
      10:01 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      This is true.

  8. krautdog
    4:49 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Last year’s was the worst. INEXCUSABLE!!!

  9. notFromhere
    5:07 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    If UK football beat everyone on their schedule BUT Florida this year, there is no doubt it would be moving forward. People need to stop making stupid “must” and ultimatum statements

  10. notFromhere
    5:12 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    If UK had beaten Florida either of the two times they had been close recently, in spite of having a significant recruiting and officiating deficit compare to the gators, it would have set up unrealistic expectations for an already unrealistic group of fans.

    UK fans aren’t quite ready for UK football success, if they are still mourning the close games that they were supposed to lose

    • Cletis75
      7:28 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      We were supposed to win last year, but I agree with you for the most part.

    • notFromhere
      1:21 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

      Cats were a 4 point dog to the gators last year.

  11. unbiasedfan
    5:24 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    I remember 2003 so well. Even up 21-3 going onto the 4th quarter, and I’ll speak for myself, I still had that feeling of what are we, not Florida, going to do to loose this game? Then when it all started going down, you really already knew it was going to happen. The game where the ref didn’t blow his whistle, we actually outplayed them that game and you really felt like that there was at least a chance to beat them. Last year same way. I’m just honest, that’s the reason my name is unbiased, now in the back of my mind I’m thinking their only going to get better every year. I will give our coaching staff as a whole a TON of credit. Our players at least resemble what most Florida players look like. Thanks strength coach as well coach’s who has done the recruiting to get the kind of kids here that one time would never give UK a chance.

    • notFromhere
      5:30 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

      We were talking about this game last week. There are reasons the 2003 game turned out the way it did. It’s not just luck or fate or any of that crap. (Not saying you’re saying it is any of those things) Fans think that way, though, and that does change the perception of the program by other fans and people outside the program

  12. dismore
    6:22 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    With Mullen at FL I don’t see the streak ending anytime soon. He will out coach us for the next couple of years and then he will be loaded with talent to go with the coaching.

  13. cats646
    6:31 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Alright now, I don’t want them to gain ANOTHER YARD! YOU BLITZ…. ALL….. NIGHT!! If they cross the line of scrimmage I’m gonna take every last one of you out! You make sure they remember….. FOREVER!!!… The night they played the (WILDCATS).
    -Kash Daniel
    Made famous by:
    -coach Yoast.
    Go big blue!!! End the streak!!!!!!!

  14. (Aixelsyd)0505
    7:08 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    I 100% agree with you Mrs Tyler, football can’t be taken seriously until we start beating teams we’re supposed too, no matter the name on the Uni.

  15. jaws2
    7:39 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Frankly I’d love to beat FL Saturday, but if we don’t and go 9-3 I really could care less. It’s all about total wins for me. Although it would be nice to beat them before I’m gone.

  16. chris43
    8:16 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    I’d love to see us win BUT if the QB plays doesn’t get quite a bit better it’s going to be a long season. It’s hard to win much if you’re one dimensional.

  17. shelby
    8:44 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Wrong; to take the next step, we have to own louisville. Every year.

  18. Bill3
    8:53 pm September 5, 2018 Permalink

    Thank you Tyler for writing so well. You brought it all back up. The images and feelings. Slumped over, elbows on my knees, face covered and resting in both hands. Just shaking my head slightly not believing, refusing to believe what I just witnessed. But … There’s good news! Not this time, Nope, It will end Saturday and wash away all those memories in a “W.” Ky: 31 Whatever: 17. So cheer up.

  19. JohnnyCheeseSticks
    7:58 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

    I think we’ll win this year. But what’s sad, is that no one will be down there enjoy it with the team. No one rushing the field.

  20. CombatMedic_98
    8:54 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

    No opposing team has ever rushed the home field of another team until 08SEP18…beat Florida at home and #RUSHGRIFFINSTADIUM

    • jahanc2uky
      9:01 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

      #KrogerField instead!!

  21. RC
    9:03 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

    You guys realize we should’ve won 9 games last year in the regular season. Not only did we blow our best chance of beating FL in recent memory we also gagged away the game against an awful Ole Miss team in Lexington. If we finish the regular season 9-3 last year then UK would’ve truly turned the corner. No question.

    However, we don’t have the coaching leadership to turn that corner. In addition to blowing winnable games against FL and Ole Miss we also looked horrible in squeaking out narrow victories over So Miss and Eastern Michigan.

    The win at South Carolina is the only game last year where UK truly out performed expectations and beat a solid team. I was there and it was awesome. The rest of our wins were against dumpster fire SEC teams and a weak non-conference schedule.

    Do we need to beat FL to move forward? Yes. But I’m not holding my breath with Stoops. He’s been a very good coach for UK from Mon-Fri. What he lacks on Saturday will continue to bite us.

  22. CombatMedic_98
    9:55 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

    Just build the Bear Bryant monument and the curse may end…!

  23. The Original WTF Guy
    10:46 am September 6, 2018 Permalink

    False. If UK goes 11-1 for the next decade with the one loss being to Florida wouldn’t that be moving forward?

  24. largoky
    12:43 pm September 6, 2018 Permalink

    Hope the coaches will be ready to see a loaded box to stop the run…got a feeling they will make us pass it to beat them, stopping the FL run is a must also…watching this game at home definitely, UK/FL football game down here is not fun to watch at any bar with anybody! Just make it out of the first quarter alive! GO CATS!

  25. Greatcatfan
    3:53 pm September 6, 2018 Permalink

    Everyone bring a mini couch with you and burn it on the field.