By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky opened the season by blowing a 35-10 lead and lost to Southern Mississippi. On Saturday night, UK just about blew a 34-24 lead — and UK had the ball inside the 10-yard line just about to score again — before rallying to beat Mississippi State 40-38.
So what does that do for coach Mark Stoops’ program?
“I think it gives us an opportunity to take it to the next step. We’ll see what we do with it. We’ll challenge our team. I just did right there about — you know, I’m so proud of them, and I love them, and I loved coaching them throughout this whole game and throughout the whole season,” Stoops said.
“We play early next week (noon kickoff at Missouri), and you know, it’s about sacrificing this week, getting home, getting some rest and let’s get back to work,” Stoop said.
Freshman running back Benny Snell believes the win was significant.
“It just gives us so much hope and courage behind us. We just fought to the wire. To just leave it all to one guy and him make the play, that is amazing,” Snell said about Austin MacGinnis’ 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.
Kentucky now has three SEC wins, and all have been close games.
“We’re proud of the way we’ve finished these games. They are never easy. We are not built that way to run away with games, and you know, our league, the difference in wins and losses is as tight as any league outside of the NFL,” Stoops said. “So you’re going to have some tight games, so you’d better win some.”