By LARRY VAUGHT
With no time left on the clock and Kentucky trailing 14-9, the Wildcats had a chance to beat Missouri if they could score from the 2-yard line.
With star running back Benny Snell made for this situation, it seemed like giving him the ball would be the best play. But Missouri had stopped him on three fourth-down plays earlier in the game.
“We knew had to throw the ball. We knew they would take it out of Benny’s hands and the quarterback’s hands,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “They weren’t going to let us run it. That was the right call by them.”
Kentucky has had trouble making clutch pass plays all season. Quarterback Terry Wilson was benched for three series in the second half. He had driven UK from its own 19-yard line to this position in 81 seconds.
He was money on the final play. He waited for tight end C.J. Conrad to get open and put the ball into the tight end’s hands for one of the more improbable wins in Kentucky football history. Kentucky overcame a 14-3 deficit in the final 5 1/2 minutes to win 15-14 and set up a showdown with Georgia for the SEC East title this week.
“We didn’t play very well, but we made plays at the end,” Conrad said. “I knew it was coming to me (on the final play). We had the play called and they (Missouri) called timeout. We almost switched and I said no, ‘Let me win it.’ Terry has been scrutinized so much, but he didn’t flinch at all.”
No he didn’t.
“Terry did a really nice job hanging in there and making the play,” Stoops said. “We felt like they were going to bring the house. We felt like they had to. We did put C.J. in at the end to get a bigger body on that stick route there. Had to create some space.”