There will be no No. 32 connected to the Florida-Kentucky rivalry, at least streak-wise.
Entering Saturday night’s game in Gainesville, Florida had beaten Kentucky each of the last 31 games in which they’d played. It was the longest current winning streak by one team over another in the FBS.
The key word in that last sentence is “was,” however, as the Wildcats went into the Swamp and chopped the Gators 27-16. It’s the first time Kentucky has beaten Florida since Nov. 15, 1986.
Trailing 10-7 at halftime, a pair of third-quarter Terry Wilson touchdowns — a 24-yard run, 54-yard pass — gave the Wildcats a 21-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. A 99-yard drive that culminated in a Felipe Franks four-yard touchdown pass with 3:34 to go in the game pulled Florida, after a failed two-point conversion, to within five at 21-16.
After the Wildcats burned more than three minutes off the fourth-quarter clock, the Gators had one last chance on a drive that began at their own six-yard line. That drive, however, ended with a fumble return for a touchdown with no time left after Franks’ arm was hit on a last-gasp pass attempt.
And, just like that, that gorilla of a streak was hoisted off the football program’s back.
To put this monumental moment into historical perspective, the last time the Wildcats beat the Gators, Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States; “The Cosby Show” was the top-rated show on television; “Top Gun” was the highest-grossing film, barely besting “Crocodile Dundee”; Oprah Winfrey launched her talk show; gas was less than a dollar a gallon; one U.S. postage stamp would set you back 22 cents; and a case of Wiedemann beer cost you $4.99 at any Northeast Ohio Lawson’s.
And the Billboard No. 1 song in the country the week of the last time the Wildcats beat the Gators?
To put a finer point on just what the Wildcats accomplished on the field named in honor of Steve Spurrier (12-0 vs. UK during his UF coaching career), Kentucky won in Gainesville for the first time since November of 1979.
Dan Mullen, in his first year as Florida’s head coach, becomes the first Gators head coach to lose to the Wildcats since Galen Hall. And the last one to lose a game to the same team in Gainesville? Charley Pell.