By KEITH PEEL
I have heard Mark Stoops say all year that to be a good cornerback in the SEC you need to have a very short memory. Forget the last play and move on to the next one.
This sounds like good advice for all UK football fans. After watching UK fall behind 13-0 Saturday against a winless Austin Peay team that may be the worst team in all Division 1 football that advice came in valuable. Forget about the first quarter and focus on the second quarter and beyond. UK scored 49 unanswered points against a hapless Austin Peay defense that had no answer for the UK rushing game or passing game.
But this game seemed to be a continuation of the Jekyll and Hyde performances that we have seen all year from UK football. Hence the good advice from Mark Stoops. Forget the last half of the Southern Mississippi game and focus on the results of the first half. Forget about the Jeff Badet that drops a perfect deep ball and fumbles it into the hands of a Georgia defensive back and remember the Jeff Badet that catches the 18-yard strike over the middle of the field to set up the game winning field goal against Mississippi State.
Forget the Boom Williams that puts the ball on the ground against Vanderbilt for a ” scoop and score” and remember the Boom Williams that caught a screen pass over the middle against Missouri and ran it in to put UK up 28-7 and essentially seal the game.
Remember the Benny Snell that ran the ball seven straight times against South Carolina and scored the touchdown that salted the game away and not the Benny Snell that fumbled the ball at the UT 4-yard line that turned the game in UT’s favor.
You get the picture. In a season of ups and downs let’s focus on a team that is 4-4 in the SEC and headed to a bowl game and not the team that could have won the SEC East with wins over very average Georgia and Tennessee squads. Let’s remember seniors that came to UK based on a promise and delivered something to UK fans that we haven’t seen in a long time; last second wins after we had squandered a lead, road victories in the SEC and ultimately a bowl game.
Let’s remember the smile on JoJo Kemp’s face after the Austin Peay game as he let the feeling of being a senior player going to a bowl game at Kentucky really sink in. No matter what has happened in the past always remember that smile. It is worth the painful ride to get there just to see that smile.