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Wildcats recap triumph over Mississippi State

“It was one of the best feelings I’ve had as a player and as a team.”

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

What a wonderful night it was down in Lexington, as Kentucky took on Mississippi State, in which one of the teams would lose their perfect record.

The hype for this matchup was clear, as it was covered by ESPN2 with nearly 60,000 seats were filled in Kroger Field.

Days before the game, controversy was taken to Twitter when Mississippi State's RB Kylin Hill tweeted laughing face emojis about Benny Snell and his confidence in his game.

With Snell being an outspoken and expressive person as it is, of course he hopped on Twitter with a crafty response.

“You a clown over the internet! I show up in real life.”

All of the Big Blue Nation has seen it, which only foreshadowed to the fans that Benny was going to ‘show up’ Saturday night.

And show up he did.

Snell finished with 165 yards and four touchdowns. He also broke Randall Cobb’s record for most touchdowns in school history (37) by two touchdowns. A monster night if the stats didn’t show that themselves.

Kylin Hill finished with a measly 14 yards and no scores.

Three of the four games Kentucky has had this season, a player from the opposing team has had beef with Snell. Those players are now 0-3

After Saturday’s win, several Wildcats met with the media to recap the special night. Here’s a recap of what they said, courtesy of UK Athletics.

#26 Benny Snell Jr., RB

On how much he loves being challenged by opponents ...

”I don’t want to say I love it, because this is an every week thing. The titles in the media, they get put a certain way. And then another team, this has happened three weeks in a row, another player, they feel like they’re being targeted, so they want to say something. I’m proud and happy about this offense, we can go against anybody and I’m just speaking facts.”

On when he called a curtain call to the student section thanking them for the support...

”It was amazing. The atmosphere was amazing. This is what football is all about, college football right there. I’m living my dream right now and I couldn’t be more happier in this support and the crowd was amazing. It was the best feeling ever, for real.”

On if this was the best crowd since he’s been here...

”I would say so. I remember my freshman year, I remember South Carolina at home and it was crazy, it was crazy here, it was nuts. But, I think this one might have topped it. This might be one of the best ones.”

On if he thinks he should be a Heisman candidate...

”I’m going to let that just be in the air. It is what it is. My play speaks for itself, that’s all I can say.”

On how Stoops says teams have to learn how to win and if he thinks that this team has learned how to win...

”Yes sir. I can definitely say that we learn how to win. This team is very good at knowing when we’re beating ourselves. We are good at making those halftime adjustments. We go inside and it’s like look guys we know were beating ourselves, we know that the penalties are killing us, when we got those one on one match-ups we’ve got to win, and we’re getting movement when we’re running the ball so it’s really all on us. I don’t want to say we’re a second half team because I don’t like that. I like when we come out with that fire. But, we’re great in the second half and finishing those games. This team got that finish. This team got that fight and I’m proud of my guys for that.”

#7 Mike Edwards, S

On how the win feels…

“Enjoying it right now, one of the best feelings in my college career, for real. Being 4-0, beating the great team that Mississippi State was, it was a great win for us.”

On what it’s like to beat a team as physical as Mississippi State…

“It’s big. It really proves what we are defensively. I feel like we played lights out except for that big play we gave up for them to get seven points. We really shut them out. I heard they only had like 200 yards total and only 56 rushing yards. We came in the game just trying to stop the run and that’s what we did. Like you said, we went out with a win.”

On if this is why he came back for his senior year…

Definitely, I feel like when I came back, I came back for a purpose. I knew what we had was something special. I knew we could beat teams like Mississippi State and Florida and teams we have coming up. So, that’s one of the reasons I came back. I knew we had something special coming up.”

On if this was the best crowd he has seen in his time here…

“Yeah, it’s up there. Just the atmosphere, even when it’s raining, it was pouring down raining and everybody was still loud cheering. That’s big for us.”

#91 Calvin Taylor Jr., DE

On what kind of pressure that is knowing that the D-line was where the game was going to be won…

“It’s not pressure because at the D-line we always put it on our back, like it starts with us. Years past we always heard the rumbling like we were the weak group. So, the last two years we were really making it a point of emphasis that we don’t want to be the weak part of the team, we want to be the strong part of the team. We put that pressure on ourselves.”

On if he could feel like they were wearing Mississippi State down towards the end of the game…

“I could feel it because when you’re so physical you can feel like they are giving up, they aren’t coming off as hard any more, then you just know you are getting to them and you just have to keep attacking. We rolled in the platoon system, so we are always fresh. We just roll them in. Everybody can play. Our coach trusts everybody, we trust everybody. We just roll them in.”

#23 Tyrell Ajian, S

On his first college interception and what he saw on the play …

”I really didn’t think I was going get the interception at first, I just kind of broke on the receiver then the ball just sailed high and I didn’t have a choice but to catch it.”

On what the interception felt like …

“I mean, great feeling. First college interception. The way all the older guys reacted and all that. They’re a big part of everything I did.”

On his relationship with the other guys …

“It’s a really good relationship. I play the same position as Mike (Edwards) and Jordan Griffin, so like, they help me out a lot with things I don’t know and make me feel comfortable. Great group to play with.”

#87, C.J. Conrad, TE

On Mississippi State blocking Josh Allen

“Josh was having a great game, but I’ve seen Josh do that to our tackles, you know? Josh is a really good player and he deserves everything he has coming his way.”

On his spectacular reception…

“Yeah it felt pretty good, I’m not going to lie. I’m all about this team and whatever I can do to help this team, if that’s run blocking or making a big play over the middle, I’m going to do it. I did what I needed to do tonight and make a big play for this team to help us win.”

On preparing for the physicality of Mississippi State…

“Yeah, I mean there’s no doubt we heard the talk during the week how physical Mississippi State was and we’re pretty physical too, we have that mentality, that edge about us and we have a great running back. He’s unbelievable and he drives us all. He plays so physical and he gives everything he’s got and that comes down with the offensive line and tight ends and we’re going to play for him because he play so hard. It was an amazing feeling.”

#56 Kash Daniel, LB

On what it was like having all the fans from his hometown (Paintsville, Kentucky) tonight…

“I knew I had a bunch of people from my area come up and watch me, so you can say there was a little extra motivation. Everybody was coming on the field after the game saying I’m from here and there and I’m like I’ve been to every single one of those places. For everybody to come from Paintsville, I think they sold 3,000 tickets. I mean, that’s unbelievable and that shows you how much that area cares about UK athletics. I can’t thank them enough for everything.”

On the defense tonight…

“We won this game on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday through all week of preparation. Everybody was laser light focused and came in knowing what we were about to face. We came out and did our thing.”

On becoming a different team…

“Oh yeah it feels different, we are 4-0. Feel a lot different. The trust, love, and believe in every single guy on that team. I mean, you look at what Ty (Tyrell) did tonight. He hasn’t got a lot of reps but when his name got called on, we came in and made one of the biggest plays of the game. That just shows you that no matter if you’re a starter or second string – if you’re number gets called, be ready to play. Ty came up huge for us and I can’t be prouder of him, I know how hard he’s worked. He’s a great friend and great teammate. You look all around, you got Josh (Allen), our whole D-line, Jordan, everybody in the secondary – they came in and did their job. That’s what we’ve preached from day one, come in and don’t do anything extra and just be the best version of you and play in and play out.”

#34 Jordan Jones, LB

On how much of a statement tonight’s game was for defense…

“It was huge just because I saw this picture on ESPN and everybody picked Mississippi State. Same when we played Florida, everybody picked Florida. We keep proving people wrong. I don’t know what else we must prove. We still have a long season to go and we’re not done yet.”

On his play at the end…

“I didn’t really do it for me. Just for my team. That was a big play for my team and I’m glad I’m finally not getting penalties on playing the game how it’s supposed to be played and I’m doing it for my boys.”

On being able to hold opponent’s offense to such few yards…

“Everyone was on the same page. All of us have one mission and that’s to win the SEC. Finally, I’ve been here for four years and finally everybody is on the same page. It’s just a great feeling.”

#41 Josh Allen, DE

On how much fun tonight’s game was…

“It was unbelievable. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had as a player and as a team. We just felt so good out there. We all felt so comfortable and it showed.”

On feeling in the second half…

“I thought they couldn’t stop me. During the first passing rush I knew it was going to be a long day for them. I got their count right and I was trying to get them every play.”

On help from the crowd …

“It was unbelievable. Just to get them hype and get them cheering every play. It was just unbelievable, and it fueled us. It’s awesome, we need that every week. If we have that every week, we’ll be good.

On validation of coming back senior season…

“I came back for a reason. This is the reason why I came back--to get better and be a dominate player in the SEC and in the country. I feel like so far, I’m doing good. I just hope to maintain this pressure I’m giving and get right.”

After Kentucky’s major win over #14 Mississippi State, they’re now 4-0 on the season and continue to keep proving people wrong about what they can do. Next Saturday, they’ll take on South Carolina.