Two years ago UK played in the swamp in Rich Brooks second season. After hanging tough for much of the game, the Cats were defeated 20-3. Many Cat fans were proud of how the blue and white had played, and were satisfied with just keeping it close.
Fast forward to 2006.
Kentucky entered the Swamp 2-1 (1-0) in SEC play and looking for their first win in 19 tries against the gators. Florida had just knocked off division rival Tennessee in Knoxville and was riding high with a #5 national ranking. As recent history suggested, many of the fans would be hoping to play well, and keep it close.
Kentucky was extremely competitive for 40+ minutes in one of the toughest environments in college football. Eventually, Florida was able to pull away to preserve a 26-7 victory.
In the past I would find myself content with the Cats keeping it close for as long as they did with a National Champion contender on the road. However, this time around, I was steamed with the loss. Reviewing the game shortly after its completion, finding the mistakes that UK made that could have made a difference in the outcome was very frustrating. I spoke to some of my big blue friends who shared the same state of mind that I did, mad that we lost and not glad that we kept it close.
The next morning while reviewing the post game quotes, I read the following from UK linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
"We're not trying to put a scare into anybody -- we're trying to win," UK linebacker Wesley Woodyard said afterward. "We wanted to win."
A little further down I also read….
"We're not into moral victories; we had a chance to win the football game," UK defensive coordinator Mike Archer said. "We're up 7-6, and there's a minute and 57 (seconds) to go. We've got to stop them, and we didn't do it. That's on us."
After reading the paper and shaking my head in disgust knowing that UK blew several opportunities to take command of the game, I strolled into the computer room and logged onto KentuckySportsReport.Com.
Amazingly, the majority of fans carried the same feeling as I did. No one was satisfied with playing good yet losing. Everyone was expecting a win.
For a program that has lived off of moral victories in the past, this is a sign as a team and as a fan base on how the expectations are quickly rising in Lexington.
There is a big difference between hoping and believing when it comes to victory.
This version of the Cats is showing their mindset is focused on the latter.
Attitudes are changing
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