This week in Kentucky football history: Grand opening week

On Thursdays throughout the 2015 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players, and games associated with University of Kentucky football for that given week. So be sure to check back with us on each and every Thursday to relive the moments that make this football program so special.

Aug. 30

  • 1997: The Wildcats didn't take long to get off to a great start in the Hal Mumme Era, labeled as "Air Raid", as UK tied a school record with 21 first quarter points in a 38-24 defeat of intrastate rival Louisville. Sophomore quarterback Tim Couch set then-school records for completions (36) and passing yards (398). It was the 500th victory in program history and the first game that Tom Leach was the Voice of the Wildcats.
  • 2014: Kentucky amasses 656 yards of total offense (5th most in school history) in a 59-14 victory over Tennessee-Martin

Aug. 31

  • 1996: Kentucky sets a then-Commonwealth Stadium record for largest attendance (59,384) as the Wildcats were defeated by the Louisville Cardinals 38-14. Kio Sanford set a then-school record for best average yardage per punt return (33.3).
  • 2003: Kentucky falls to Louisville 40-24 in Rich Brooks' first game as head coach of the Wildcats
  • 2008: The Wildcats relied on their defense (two fumbles returned for touchdowns) in their 27-2 defeat of the Louisville Cardinals
  • 2013: The Wildcats lost to intrastate foe Western Kentucky 35-26 in the first game of the Mark Stoops Era at Kentucky

Sept. 1

  • 1990: Kentucky defeats Central Michigan 20-17 in Bill Curry's first game as head coach of the Wildcats
  • 2001: The Wildcats lose to intrastate rival Louisville 36-10 in the first game of the Guy Morriss Era at Kentucky
  • 2002: Kentucky went on the road and upset 17th-ranked Louisville 22-17, their first victory against the Cardinals since 1998

Sept. 2

  • 2000: Freshman quarterback Jared Lorenzen surpasses 300 passing yards (322) in his first career game as Kentucky's signal-caller in a heartbreaking 40-34 overtime loss to intrastate rival Louisville

Sept. 3

  • 1994: In a game that had been wanted by both fan bases for several decades, the Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals squared off on the gridiron for the first time in 70 years to renew the state's most heated rivalry. A then-Commonwealth Stadium record crowd of 59,162 watched as Kentucky won their only game of the season on a late game-winning touchdown run by backup quarterback Antonio O'Ferral.
    2006: Keenan Burton set a then-school record for most kickoff return yards (185), including a 100-yard touchdown, in a 59-28 defeat to Louisville

Sept. 4

  • 1993: Kentucky ties a school record with 21 points scored in the first quarter of their 35-0 win over Kent State, their first shutout since 1989
  • 1999: Kentucky opened up their newly renovated and expanded Commonwealth Stadium, with a then-record crowd of 70,692, with a 56-28 defeat against intrastate foe Louisville. Quarterback Dusty Bonner tied a school record with 74 offensive plays and passed for 446 yards in his first career start.

Sept. 5

  • 1981: Kentucky's Greg Long put on a defensive clinic, tying a school record with 3 interceptions and setting a school record with 155 interception return yards, in a 28-6 Wildcats victory over North Texas.
  • 1998: The Wildcats put on quite possibly their greatest offensive performance in school history when they traveled to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in their first game ever played at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Junior quarterback Tim Couch set or tied then-school records for most total offense (498 yards), most passing yards (498), and most touchdown passes (7). Kentucky set then-school records for most total offense (801 yards), most first downs (37), and most passing yards (571). Kentucky wound up defeating Louisville by a final score of 68-34.
  • 2009: The Wildcats traveled to the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium and shutout the Warhawks of Miami (Ohio) 42-0, their first shutout since 1996 and their largest shutout win since 1984.