More Notes From Win at Auburn
Oct. 18, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky's 21-14 win at Auburn on Saturday marked the second-largest crowd ever to see a Wildcat football victory.
Last night's game drew 86,217 fans to Jordan-Hare Stadium. The only larger crowd to see the Wildcats triumph was in 1984, when UK won at Tennessee before 93,791 fans in Neyland Stadium. (Thanks to UK student Robert “Stats” Sampson for doing the research on this note.)
Déjà vu in Auburn: You already know that Kentucky's victory against Auburn was the first since 1966, ending a streak of 15 consecutive losses against the Tigers.
However, it was only Kentucky's second victory ever at Auburn, with the previous triumph coming in 1961. It's interesting to note that both games followed remarkably similar paths.
In 1961, Auburn's John McGeever opened the scoring by blocking a Kentucky field goal and returning it 82 yards for a touchdown. Kentucky came from behind in the fourth quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass from Jerry Woolum to Tom Hutchinson with 3:12 left in the game for a 14-12 victory. That Kentucky win, by the way, ended a 30-game home winning streak which still remains as the longest home win streak in Auburn history.
Forty-eight years later, Auburn opened the scoring by blocking a field goal and returning it 69 yards for a touchdown. Once again, Kentucky rallied in the fourth quarter with touchdown runs by Will Fidler and Randall Cobb for a 21-14 victory. Cobb's game-winning score came with 3:17 left on the clock, just five seconds different than the 1961 game.
(A tip o' the hat to long-time Auburn sports information director David Housel for providing this historical nugget.)
First Game Without a Penalty in 18 Years: Kentucky did not incur a penalty in the win over Auburn, the first time the Wildcats had not drawn a flag in 18 years, since the 1991 contest at Vanderbilt.
Helmet Sticker for Rich Brooks: Chris Low, the Southeastern Conference beat writer for ESPN.com, was effusive in his praise for Rich Brooks following last night's victory over Auburn, awarding the Wildcat coach a “helmet sticker” for the Wildcats' performance.
“Boy, did he deserve this one,” Low wrote. “His Kentucky team deserved this one. This is a program that would have faded into oblivion in the past after losing three straight games and having so many key players go down with injuries. But Brooks kept his guys focused and kept them believing, and the Wildcats went to the Plains and took out Auburn 21-14 on Saturday. It's a win that very much keeps alive the Wildcats' bowl chances, as they evened their record at 3-3.”
Low also wrote about Brooks in his roundup column, “What we Learned in the SEC: Week 7”:
“Kentucky follows its leader: The Rich Brooks legacy at Kentucky will be closely tied to the Wildcats' three straight bowl victories the last three seasons and how he's elevated the program to respectability at a school where basketball is king. But Brooks' legacy goes even deeper than that. He's brought a sense of toughness to Kentucky football, a sense of class to Kentucky football and a no-excuses resolve that should serve this program well long after he's retired and back home fishing in Oregon. It's fitting that Brooks is a former boxer, because his teams at Kentucky have never quit fighting. The Wildcats lost a heartbreaker two weeks ago at South Carolina, and in doing so, lost their starting quarterback. They were already without their best defender, cornerback Trevard Lindley, but never blinked on the heels of a three-game losing streak and went into Auburn on Saturday night and won 21-14 thanks to some gritty defense and a balanced running game. Brooks gave props to everybody from his backup quarterback, to his coaches, to his punter after the game and called it the ‘ultimate team win.' Well, here's giving some props to Brooks. There's a reason his teams play with so much heart.”
Seven Players Honored by Phil Steele's College Football Magazine: Seven Kentucky football players have been tabbed for mid-season All-America and/or All-Southeastern Conference honors by Phil Steele's College Football magazine.
Here is the list of the mid-season accolades:
Good News, Bad News on Injuries: Coach Rich Brooks reported good news and bad news on the injury front Sunday afternoon.
The bad news is that several players incurred injuries that could force them to miss practice time this week, including tailback Derrick Locke (strained knee ligament), linebacker Micah Johnson (ankle sprain), offensive guard Christian Johnson (injured calf, turf toe), free safety Winston Guy (thigh bruise, lower back contusion) and quarterback Will Fidler (sore shoulder). The good news is that the players are day-to-day in terms of participating in practice and none of them have been ruled out of Saturday's game against Louisiana-Monroe.
Brooks noted that cornerback Trevard Lindley, who has missed the last two games because of a high-ankle sprain, is making progress but very doubtful to play on Saturday.