By LARRY VAUGHT
Beating Georgia would have been fantastic. Make no mistake about that.
But even though it did not happen, there’s still a great chance for Kentucky to have a historic season. Win at Tennessee today and end a 34-year losing streak in Knoxville. Win at home against Middle Tennessee in what will be Josh Allen’s final home game and likely will be Benny Snell’s. Close the regular season by adding to Louisville’s misery — and Lord knows there is a lot of misery there.
That would give UK 10 wins for the first time since 1977, allow the Cats to finish second in the SEC East and could put UK in the top 10. It would mean UK won at Florida, Tennessee and Louisville in the same season — something that has never happened.
“Tough loss for the Cats. This can still be a very special year for them so let’s stay behind them and see what bowl they get at the end,” former UK coach Rich Brooks tweeted after the Georgia loss.
He’s right. Win these next three games and Kentucky could get a spot in a major, major bowl. What UK fan wouldn’t take that?
Don’t forget that Snell needs 403 more yards to become UK’s all-time leading rusher with 3,835 yards. He’s had three straight 1,000-yard seasons and needs to average 135 yards per game in the three regular-season games to break the mark or 102 yards per game if you count the bowl game. He’s had just 100-yard game (169 against Vanderbilt) in the last five games.
“We know where our heads are at,” Allen said after the Georgia loss. “This game is in the past, we just got to learn from our corrections and just move on and hopefully get a win next week.”
“We aren’t going to let this loss turn into two. We can’t let this happen again,” backup running back A.J. Rose said. “We have a goal and we came short of that goal, but we still want to finish the SEC strong.”
Tight end C.J. Conrad, who had a costly fumble against Georgia, felt the team let fans down last week and said it won’t happen.
“We had an amazing atmosphere. We appreciate the fans,” Conrad said. “We are really sorry we couldn’t get it done. I hope you (fans) will continue to support us. We are not going to let this turn into two or three games (UK loses). We will bounce back.”