The Swamp Stunner
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo
GAINESVILLE, FL- The path to victory is not always a straight one or even an easy one. In fact more times than none a team finds itself down the wrong road one two many times. They get lost and seem to take two steps forward only two take two steps back all at the same time. However, in the end perhaps it’s not really about the path itself that gets them the glory. Rather it is the fact that despite all the wrong turns and such that what got them there was the simple fact that they were willing to still embark on the path itself.
For those of y’all in the Big Blue Nation who managed to get a few winks in or just decided to be up all night after 31 years straight what you witnessed last night was not a dream or an illusion folks it is a reality . Mark Stoops and the Cats finally put “ The Streak” to rest in one hell of finish in The Swamp against the Florida Gators.
Whether you Bleed Blue or not these are sorts of games that bring spectators from near and far because here it’s more than just a ball game it about how a team can come together for a given moment and play absolutely perfect for what is asked of them to write a new chapter of history.
Talk about a great orchestration that has been three decades in the making for Kentucky to go on the road and open conference play with a 26-16 victory over Dan Mullen and his ball club. This was the 4th longest streak in college football history. If the Cats needed anymore icing on the cake they also snapped the Gators 13 consecutive wins for season openers.
Even heading into the second half there was still belief that the Mullen Mojo would seep into Feleipe Franks and the offense and give the Gators a chance for a comeback.With 5:00 left in regulation Franks was able to convert a 4th down and 15 plays later with a 99 yd drive that led to TD from Franks to Swain the clock was down to 3:34 in the ball game. Unfortunately a failed two-point conversion also made the Gators bite even softer.
Down to the wire the crowd even in such an uproar was eerily still till the final moments of this ball game. This game wasn’t going to be handed easily to the victor and was going to take every play to bring it to its end.The Cats were forced to punt after just six plays of getting the ball back. The Gators had one final chance to keep the streak alive to see #32. Could they pull it off?
Things became murky in the Swamp as Kentucky LB, Josh Allen sealed the deal causing Franks to fumble in the Gators final attempt to score. That play resulted in 30 yd return for a touchdown as time expired. The rest is now history.
After six seasons Stoops and the Cats seem to finally be headed in the right direction on their road to relevance now in the SEC. The Cats (2-0,1-0 SEC) now must continue to build upon this moment but most importantly as I like to say remain hungry and humble. Perhaps the future for football in the Commonwealth has finally arrived it just took a little time.
Photos Courtesy Of: University of Kentucky Football Instagram
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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main EventSports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ Misskyus2011