Kentucky sits at 2-0 through two weeks of the 2018 season as the Wildcats beat the Florida Gators in Gainesville.
Kentucky was finally to come out with a win and end the losing streak that reached 31 games, but thanks to big big games by Benny Snell, Terry Wilson and the defense, did not extend to 32.
The Wildcats struggled through several penalties, costly turnovers especially the fumble and interception on the last two drives at the end of the first half, and missed opportunities, which seems all too common in games against the Gators.
Thankfully, the Cats were able to rebound and play great in the second half en route to a 27-16 win.
After the game, Mark Stoops fielded questions from the media about the game, the streak, and much more. Here is a recap of everything Mark Stoops had to say following the loss, courtesy of UK Athletics:
”Obviously it is hard to describe the feeling that I’m feeling right now. Just feel so blessed to be the head coach here and to get that victory for truly everybody, most importantly our players for the work, time and commitment they’ve put in.
“I’ve said all along I love this team, I told them at half time and before the game that we were going to win this game in a team effort because they love, trust, and believe in each other. I’m happy for our administration and our fan base. Our fan base has waited a long time for this.
“To say that it doesn’t bother them would be a lie because it’s the unnecessary burden that these players carry when they come into a streak like that. They don’t deserve that because they weren’t a part of it. We don’t have to deal with anymore after today. I’m just very grateful for our team, it was truly a team victory.”
“I think the physicality of our offensive line; it was really a joyous occasion just now, I awarded John Schlarman the game ball for the way our offensive line and tight ends blocked. We rushed for over 300 yards at Florida, that’s pretty big. John is going through a lot and it was great to award him with the team ball.”
On what ending the streak will do for the program…
”I think it gives a big step. It’s only been two games; you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself. It’s a long season, but it is a step. You’ve heard me talk about knocking down doors, well this is a big one. We did the right it the right way by being a good, hard, tough, physical football team.”
On whether there was a sense of urgency from the players about winning this game and what it means to them…
”I did. It does means a lot to those guys, we have a lot of guys who have been around for a long time so it means a lot. We’ve had a lot of good teams, sometimes the balls just haven’t been bounced our way.
“But we kept on plugging. I can tell y’all this, the way we have been competing since I have been here, we were going to knock down that door sooner rather than later and fortunately it came down tonight.”