“KENTUCKY’S DONE IT!”
—Tom Leach, October 2nd, 2021
When Emory Jones’s pass on 4th & 8 fell incomplete on the Kroger Field turf a few hours ago, Kentucky Wildcats football shattered losing streaks, records, expectations, and more. I got emotional in the student section Saturday as we stormed the field just taking it all in all at once—I just saw Kentucky finally defeat Florida in Lexington...as a UK freshman just two months into college life. Not only that, but we beat a top-10 team for just the first time under Stoops and first time since 2010.
When UK storms the field it’s for a win that’ll be remembered for a long time, but tonight was even more special. When fans stormed it in 2011 after snapping the Tennessee streak it wasn’t a full crowd, and even after the 2018 win over #14 Mississippi State it didn’t quite reach the euphoria of Saturday night.
This was a field storming UK planned years and years ago, postponing it with every agonizing, excruciating blown-lead loss in the past several decades. The 2017 4th-quarter meltdown, 2019’s missed field goal and squandered 11-point lead, etc.—they all built up, and Saturday we finally got to celebrate on the Kroger Field turf.
This home win was years in the making. Under Stoops, we’ve stunned #11 Louisville, taken Florida down in The Swamp, beaten #12 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl, but they were all on the road or in a bowl. Saturday Stoops & Co. brought it home; Saturday Lexington got to throw on party that’ll be remembered for a long, long time in the Bluegrass. Just think that 12 months ago we were at reduced capacity and the atmosphere was flat as a punctured tire. One season later our sellout crowd is partying and swarming the field for the win of our former daydreams, and it feels so, so good.
Here’s a list of some of the many accomplishments UK pulled off in this sweet, sweet upset:
- We beat Florida in Lexington for the first time since 1986 and just the second time overall in the last 35 meetings.
- Big first here—we just won our first game over a top-10 team under Mark Stoops! Kentucky previously hadn’t beaten a top-10 team since the 2010 upset over #10 South Carolina.
- Because this is also a top-10 win, this is our biggest win under Mark Stoops. He’s won 54 games with Kentucky now to move him to 54-50—only six shy of Bear Bryant’s 60. Number 54 stands out as the biggest victory yet for the head man.
- Dan Mullen’s now lost twice to Kentucky—something very few Florida coaches since your grandpa was in school can say.
- Will Levis is 5-0 as UK’s quarterback and joins Terry Wilson as the only UK quarterbacks to have defeated the Florida Gators in the last 35 years.
- We beat Florida. Just let it keep on sinking in. We...just...beat...Florida. And we’re 5-0!
- We’re gonna be ranked in the AP Poll!
The atmosphere next week against LSU will be electric once again as we look to surpass the accomplishments of the 2018 ‘Cats and start 6-0 before challenging Georgia for the SEC East! What a win and what a season this has been! Go ‘Cats!!!