Last week here at TWIWH we decided to take a cold, hard look at a few somewhat disheartening records as they related to Kentucky football. Recent history against the Old Ball Coach, against the Gamecocks, and against, well, anyone during the 7th game of the season didn’t offer up a whole lot of goodness as we prepared ourselves for another beautiful Saturday in the Red Lot, where we were hoping to get back to the winning ways not seen since September.
Well, guess what? It worked.
So, friends of the tailgate, be not dismayed at the statistics that follow, for it appears that standing tall and facing your history head on may just be the best way to reverse it.
The Cats enter Saturday’s showdown with the Bulldogs from the University of Georgia having won just four of the previous 20 meetings between the two teams. More recently, however, Kentucky has gone 2-2 against Mark Richt’s boys in the Silver Britches, with each team winning once in Lexington and once in Athens since 2006. In fact, ask almost any UK fan and they’ll likely tell you that it was probably the victory over Georgia in November of the 2006 that propelled Kentucky into the next echelon of SEC football – a place where bowl appearances are expected, 9-3 seasons are attainable, and the team (and fanbase) know that any game on the schedule is now winnable.
While it certainly isn’t a place to be content, it sure beats the heck out of where this program stood just a mere 5 seasons ago.
Need further proof of that? Look no further than the Cats’ record during the eighth game of the season over the course of the past 20 years. During that span, Kentucky has just six wins against 14 losses. Kentucky has lost the eighth game of their season during each of the past 3 seasons, last winning the eighth game during the aforementioned 2006 season, when they preceded that program-changing victory over Georgia with a gutsy 34-31 road win at Mississippi State that would help to lay the foundation for the program’s current successes.
Saturday’s game will also mark just the 9th time that the Cats will have played on October 23rd since 1950. During that time, the Cats hold a 2-6 overall record, and a lackluster 1-5 against Georgia on birthday of both Pele and Johnny Carson. In fact, the most recent victory for a Kentucky football team on October 23 was a 28-10 victory over these same Georgia Bulldogs in Lexington way back in 1965.
And if you’re thinking that it’s a little early in the season to find Georiga on the schedule, well, there’s a good reason for that, too. Saturday will mark the first time since 2002 that the Kentucky-Georgia tilt will take place in October, when Bulldog fans were fortunate enough to hit the Lexington exacta, taking in both the beautiful sights of Keeneland and a 52-24 Georgia win during their weekend in the Bluegrass State.
While I enjoy the great people from Athens and hope that they can cash a few tickets at the track this weekend, here’s to hoping that their good fortune runs out before they leave Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.
With AJ Green back on the field, the Dawgs look to finally be shaping into the force that many thought they would be when the season began two months ago.
Nevertheless, I said it last week, and I’ll say it again this week. I still believe. You should, too.