College Football Junkie

A Blog To Share My Tour of College Football

Tennessee vs. Kentucky 2007

Posted by Strickland on December 22, 2007

The “T” in UT For many years, my wife and I went to the UT vs UK football games. She cheered for Kentucky because she’s from Kentucky, and I cheered for Tennessee because I’m from Tennessee. Now, in Kentucky, there are some major Division 1-A schools like University of Louisville and…the University of Kentucky. There are other schools like Western Kentucky (our alma mater), Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown College, Morehead State, Murray State, Northern Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands, to name a few. In Tennessee, you have the major Division 1-A teams like University of Memphis, Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, East Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Carson-Newman, and many more. She lived closer to Lexington, so she “supports” UK. I on the other hand, well…I support UT, but there is a story on that on how I started supporting them. You’ll need to read how on the post here.

So, we now live about an hour and fifteen minutes from Lexington. This year, UK seemed to be much better than UT. UK has had a ton of momentum and it’s not the first time that they’ve had this momentum and recognition. “ESPN College Gameday” went to UK this past year when LSU was playing at UK. UK ended up beating LSU in a great game. Years past you had Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen, (both quarterbacks) and Hal Mumme (coach) making noise in the Southeastern Conference and the nation. Going into the game, UT had began to stay in the hunt for the SEC-East Division Champions. In fact, they had won so many games that they held their own destiny for the right to go to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta, GA. So, UT had a lot to play for, and UK really only had the 22-game losing streak to UT to play for…oh, I didn’t mention that did I. Yeah, UK has lost 22 games in row to UT. Now, there were some scary times, but a 22 game winning streak was on the line.

My wife and I had been talking about going to the game really since the beginning of the season. We had lived in Alabama and Arkansas before moving closer to Lexington, or Knoxville, in years past. But, we never did really try to get tickets to the game. I just didn’t think we really wanted to pay for the tickets. Our finances have been a little tight, so you pick what you really need to do. But, I got a phone call from my UK friend that took us to the UK verses EKU game earlier in the season. He told us that he had two tickets for us if we wanted them. After talking to my wife about going, she decided to stay home and told me to go to the game. So, off I went!

I drove my UK friend with the tickets, a friend of his that I know and is a UK fan, and my UK friend with the tickets uncle who is a season ticket football holder for UT. We had a great time in the van talking trash. I told them that UT was going to “MJ UK.” They said, “MJ?” I said, “Yeah. We’re going to Michael Jordan you.” “What does that mean?” I told them, “Michael Jordan’s number is 23, and you’re about to lose for the 23rd game in a row to UT!” It was lame, but that’s the trash we were talking.

The game was a good game. The first play from scrimmage for UT was a play-action 65 yard pass from Eric Ainge to Arian Foster that took 16 seconds off the clock. UT jumped off to a quick start, but UK came back. I knew they would. UT has been known to jump to a quick start and then fight to win the game. UT was winning 24-7 at halftime, but that’s not the end. UK came out in the second half, and I think UT stayed in the locker room. The game ended in a 31-31 tie. But, UK had plenty of opportunities to beat UT in the last seconds! Plenty!!

The game went into four overtimes before UT beat UK for the 23rd time–52-50. UT blocked a UK field goal attempt in overtime that would’ve beaten UT. Everybody, including me and my whole van crew, were in the aisle ready to storm the field. But, when the field goal was blocked it silenced everybody in the stadium, except for me and the rest of the UT fans.

I didn’t take any pictures of the game, but the stats, notes, and play-by-play of the game can be found at the UT sports website.  UT “MJed” UK.

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