DENNIS JOHNSON: Beating FSU important to UK

With all the ups and downs of the college football season, who would have ever imagined the Cats earning a spot to play in back to back bowls and this time going against a team as legendary as Florida State.

What an opportunity for the program. A chance to play against the winningest coach in college football history (373) in Bobby Bowden. A chance to play against a program that has been to 26 consecutive bowl games, produced two Heisman Trophy winners and won two national championships.

As a former Wildcat, most players would say these stats mean nothing, but trust me, the colors of garnet and gold still hold weight.

Maybe this FSU team might not be like the dynasties of the 90's, but I don't think you have to study film like Keenan Burton to know they are probably talented, athletic, and let's not forget fast.

A win would allow (us) the fans to forget about the overtime season finale and ride a wave that has become crucial to off-season workouts. It would help coach Rich Brooks and the Cats take another step in taking the program to the next level.

For a few seniors with NFL potential, this game is one last chance to show scouts they are NFL worthy.

So what are three things a win against FSU would do:

1. Build the confidence of UK players to know they can beat a Florida team.
2. Make Florida recruits respect the name Kentucky in football.
3. Make ESPN's Lee Corso talk positively about the UK football program.

With a few more days for fans and media to hype the game, the fact still remains that the Cats have to treat the Music City Bowl like a business trip. I'm a fan of getting there a few days earlier, so the kids get a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Practice, hang out and strut their stuff in ‘Cashville' sporting last year's bowl rings.

But as game day nears and echoes of Chief Osceola, his horse, and spear near, UK must find a way to forget about bowl gifts and last year's win and focus on the job at hand — which is defeating FSU, Bobby Bowden and his trickery.

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