This historic joyride of a season was filled with amazing moments and plays that will be replayed by Kentucky Wildcats fans for years to come, but what were the five greatest that stand above the rest?
Here’s my five favorites, with a certain part of the Citrus Bowl getting a very high spot:
5. Pick-Six Saves Cats from Chattanooga
So many of the great moments of UK’s 2021 season likely would have never happened if UK has dropped to 2-1 at home to an FCS foe, especially not a high-profile bowl berth like the Citrus, but with the young season in jeopardy, Tyrell Ajian caught a pick and ran it back 85 yards to get the Cats to 3-0 and escape in a game that they did not play anywhere near their best football.
4. Mizzou Gets Sacked
It’s crazy to think that UK won their second, third, fourth, and fifth games all in one score games where they turned the ball over a bunch, but each time they came through when it counted, especially against Missouri under the bright lights of Kroger Field in early September. With Mizzou trying to tie the game again and force overtime, JJ Weaver’s sack of Connor Bazelak on 3rd and 5 at the UK 37 with two minutes left was the difference in a wild game that UK was fortunate to win after blowing an early 14-point lead.
3. 1-2-3-4. L’s down
It’s great when UK’s quarterback scores a bunch of touchdowns in Cardinal Stadium. It’s even better when they count each of them up on their fingers and point them out to the U of L student section each time they find the pylon. When Will Levis & Co. continued the recent tradition of slapping Louisville football silly in every meeting home or away, it was so memorable that nobody cared that 6-5 Louisville wasn’t the most high-quality of victories. It was the one of the highlights of the year.
2. Wan’Dale’s Citrus Drive
Throughout the entire 2021 season, Wan’Dale Robinson led Kentucky back to the glory days of 2018 with amazing catches and running that made the difference between winning and losing more often than not. Thus, it was quite fitting that when UK found themselves needing 80 yards in three minutes against a hungry Iowa defense that had kept the Cats off the board the entire second half, Robinson hauled in four passes that consisted of nearly all the yardage UK needed to retake the lead for good. One moment, UK was on their 47 with two minutes left. The next, it was 1st & Goal at the 1 and Wan’Dale Robinson had further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest receivers in UK history.
1. Kick-Six/Gator Goal-line Stand
After all the years of UK season ticket-holders and students filling the stands and chowing on fried gator when Florida was in town, wondering if this would be the year that they could finally celebrate after the game was over, after all the blowouts and blow-its, and after all the plain old frustrating losing, on October 2nd, 2021, Florida QB Emory Jones threw an incomplete pass on 4th & Goal, and Lexington was partying like they hadn’t partied in a long time.
Maybe the Iowa Citrus Bowl win was a better win since Florida cratered down the stretch to finish 6-7, but when UK stopped Florida from forcing and possibly winning OT at that goal-line on October 2nd, all in front of a sold-out Kroger Field waiting decades for this moment, it was very special and led to a field storming of a scale not seen since the 2007 LSU win. And that on top of the blocked FG touchdown that turned the tide of the game a quarter before!
These five moments were among the greatest of a very special season filled with hundreds of great moments. Now each Saturday UK plays it’s a party.