By LARRY VAUGHT
“Told you so.”
That was the message I got from April Snell, the mother of Kentucky running back Benny Snell, just a few minutes after UK’s streak-busting 27-16 win over Florida.
Before the season open, April Snell was confident Kentucky was going to beat the Gators for the first time since 1986.
“We are going to beat Florida . Then I am going on (social) media and going to say I told you so,” she said.
Now she can do just that.
Kentucky ran for 303 yards, overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit and survived too many penalties to win in Florida for the first time since 1979 and move to 2-0 on the season.
The Cats gave game balls to offensive line coach John Schlarman, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and defensive lineman Josh Paschal, who is not playing after being diagnosed with skin cancer in the preseason.
“They are in our hearts every day,” Snell said.
But the UK players also know what this win means to fans.
“HISTORYYY!!!!! ￼ BBN THAT WAS FOR YALL￼,” Snell posted on Twitter.
Boyle County native Candace Garrison Goad now lives in St. Augustine, Fla. She was at the game Saturday night but admitted she couldn’t watch the final few minutes.
“Kept watching the clock and listening. But when ended, it was sweet! We were surrounded by Gators so the sad faces were everywhere. I was smiling and posting (on social media),” Coad said.
She said she avoided getting excited until the final play .
“It will be good this next year. I can now wear my UK shirts during football season, too. Really, though, all my good Gator friends have been congratulating me. They’re good people,” Garrison said.
This game was so eerie.
Florida had a field goal that looked good ruled no good. Florida got a couple of key penalties late. Kentucky made key first downs when it counted.
Linebacker Josh Allen made a great pass breakup on a two-point conversion try by the Gators that would have cut the lead to 21-18 and then forced a fumble with a hit on the quarterback on the final play that turned into a bizarre return for a touchdown by Kentucky.
No wonder Snell, who ran for 175 yards, told Kentucky Network sideline reporter Dick Gabriel that he cried when he celebrated with his parents after the game.
“That meant the world to me. I just felt like I lived the dream. I dreamed about this win and it happened in front of my eyes,” Snell said.