Counting Down The Best Of The Last Ten Years
Over the last decade the Kentucky football program won 57 games including two bowl games. However 32 of those wins came in the last four years. While the coaching staff would say otherwise all wins aren’t created equally. That’s where we come in as over the course of two parts we rank the best victories. Let’s get started with Kentucky’s best wins of the decade part one.
Beating The “Ol’ Ball Coach” – Number 10
Kentucky 31- South Carolina 28- October 16, 2010
South Carolina rolled into Lexington riding a 10 game winning streak against the Wildcats. In the first half it looked much like Spinal Tap they were going to 11. The Gamecocks were firing on all cylinders as Joker Phillips’ Cats went in trailing 28-10 at the half.
However, the Kentucky defense came up big in the second half holding Stephen Garcia and the 10th ranked Gamecocks to only 103 yards. Touchdown passes from Mike Hartline to La’Rod King and Chris Matthews cut the lead to 28-23 early in the fourth quarter. From there neither team could find the end zone.
However, with 1:15 remaining Randall Cobb caught a 24 yard pass from Hartline to put the Cats in the lead. He followed that up with a two point conversion to cement the win. For the game the Wildcat quarterback threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns. With the victory Kentucky snapped a 10 game losing streak to South Carolina. In addition, they beat a Steve Spurrier coached team for the first time in 18 tries.
An Improbable Win- Number 9
Kentucky 15 Missouri 14- October 27, 2018
The Wildcats mustered little offense against the Tigers and found themselves trailing 14-3 at the half. However led by Josh Allen, the Kentucky defense held Drew Lock and the powerful Missouri offense to eight straight three and outs in the second half.
With five minutes to go in the game Lynn Bowden took a punt 67 yards to the house. However the Cats missed the try for two leaving the margin at five. Another punt backed Kentucky up to their own 19 yard line. Quarterback Terry Wilson calmly led the Cats down the field to the 10 yard line.
On the game’s final play Wilson’s pass to Ahmad Wagner fell incomplete. However Missouri was whistled for pass interference giving the Cats one more play. Wilson hit C.J. Conrad for the score on the extra play giving Kentucky an improbable win. That win led to quite the celebration in the locker room.
.@UKCoachStoops living his best life.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 28, 2018
We continue on with Kentucky’s best wins of the decade part one with another victory over South Carolina.
First Signature Win- Number 8
Kentucky 45 South Carolina 38- October 4, 2014
Long time readers of the site know last year we did a bracket picking Kentucky’s Greatest Football Victory. There were 32 games selected however we got more questions as to why this game wasn’t included than any other. Well question no more as this game has made the list.
Many of these games involve a huge Kentucky comeback and this one is no different. Following a 26 yard run by Mike Davis the Wildcats trailed 38-24 early in the fourth quarter. However Carolina would not score again as the Cats ran off 21 straight points.
Two touchdown runs by Jojo Kemp tied the game at 38 with a little over two minutes remaining. On the ensuing possession Bud Dupree picked off a Dylan Thompson pass running it back six yards to give the Cats the lead. Carolina had one last chance but Ashley Lowery picked off Thompson to seal the win.
The win was the first major win at Kentucky for Stoops and his first win over Steve Spurrier. Kentucky would go on to win five in a row against the Gamecocks.
A Historic Performance- Number 7
Kentucky 45 Louisville 13- November 30th, 2019
Over the last two years the Wildcats have outscored the Cardinals by a 101-23 margin. As a result you could put either one of the wins on this list. However due to the historic nature of the win we’re going with last season.
In his final home game at Kentucky Bowden saved the best for last. The Paul Hornung Award winner rushed 22 times for 284 yards and four touchdowns as the Cats retained the Governor’s Cup for a second straight year. The 284 yards are the most ever by a quarterback in Southeastern Conference history. Furthermore he was only 15 yards off the school record of 299 set by Moe Williams against South Carolina in 1995.
One week after Kentucky set a school record with 462 yards rushing they topped that with 517 against Louisville. It’s the third straight game going over 400 yards for the Kentucky offense. It was the most by any FBS school this season. In addition the Cats broke their single season rushing record of 3,124 set back in 1974.
It was a rough introduction the rivalry game for Louisville coach Scott Satterfield. Not only did his team get blown out but he appeared to take offense with the “L’s Down.” Following the game he could be seen talking to Stoops about the gesture. Kentucky’s head man had this response afterwards.
Asked about a postgame chat with Scott Satterfield that seemed to include a mention of the “L’s down” gesture, Mark Stoops said: “I don’t want to elaborate. . . . I don’t know if an L’s down is going to offend them. There’s going to be a lot worse in this rivalry over time.” pic.twitter.com/GsU8xGvUno
— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) November 30, 2019
Kentucky 41 Mississippi State 38- October 22nd, 2016
The Wildcats got off to a rough start in the 2016 season. As a result there were rumblings about Mark Stoops‘ job security. The game was a tight back and forth affair and the Cats took a 34-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. However the Bulldogs battled back and took a 38-37 lead with just over a minute to go.
Quarterback Stephen Johnson marched the Cats down the field. With nine seconds remaining quarterback he hit Jeff Badet with an 18 yard pass down to the Mississippi State 33 yard line. From there Austin Macginnis nailed a 51 yard field goal giving the Cats an improbable victory.
Not only did the win possibly save Stoops’ job but it was the first win ever for Kentucky over a Dan Mullen coached team.
Thanks for checking out the first half of Kentucky’s greatest wins of the decade here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back soon with the top five however most True Blue Fans can guess what holds the top spot.