One play, two yards, for the win.
Terry Wilson connected with C.J. Conrad on an outside stick route to give Kentucky a 15-14 win over Missouri, UK’s seventh win of the season. As the Big Blue Nation exhaled, so did Mark Stoops.
“Man, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack,” he said to the media as he captured his breath. It’s a feeling I’m sure many can empathize with, but unlike many fans, Stoops never stopped believing his team could come back to win.
“I just felt good. We felt like we were going to find a way,” said Stoops. “These guys have worked hard and you have to find a way. If you’re going to be a Championship team you have to find a way to win games like this.”
Before they found a way to win on the final play, there was quite a bit of discussion on what to run at the two-yard line. C.J. Conrad knew exactly what would work.
“When we get inside the red zone, they have a lot of plays setup for me. As soon as we got the extra play (on the pass interference), I’m like, ‘we need to run that play.’ We had it called and then they called a timeout. We were thinking about switching it and possibly running the ball. I was like, ‘No. I’m winning the game for this team.'”
Eddie Gran’s account of the story differed. “Run it? There was zero conversation about running the ball right there, zero point zero.”
Missouri was bringing the heat. The Tigers were in zero coverage, blitzing every player that did not matchup in man defense. When Conrad saw Missouri’s initial look, he knew what he was going to do. Presented with an option to go inside or out, all he needed was a little chicken wing move to break free from the defender. All Terry Wilson needed was some time.
“Double A-gap blitz, Benny picks it up, our line picks it up. There’s a guy free. He sits in there. C.J. runs a great route and the ball is thrown on time. It was awesome,” Gran said.
“I was ready to go,” Terry Wilson said. “They called the best play down there on the one-yard line. C.J. ran a great route. We connected and it was a touchdown.”
As soon as the officials signaled a touchdown, the sideline spilled onto the field in celebration. While many may have worried or written the Cats off long before, Jordan Jones knew exactly what was going to happen.
“We threw an interception to them. There was like three, four minutes left on the clock. A lot of guys were feeling down. They just felt like we had lost already. So I went up to C.J. C.J. just had this look on his face. I told him, ‘C.J., get that look off your face because we’re about to go win this. Buckle up man, get ready.’ It’s crazy. I literally told him and he caught the game-winning touchdown.”
“Crazy” is the only way you can describe Kentucky’s miraculous walk-off win over Missouri.