It was a late October Saturday night in 2008, rainy where I was, Kentucky was losing to ..."/> It was a late October Saturday night in 2008, rainy where I was, Kentucky was losing to ..."/>

4 Days To Kickoff: Petrino Wrecks… His Lead Against Kentucky


It was a late October Saturday night in 2008, rainy where I was, Kentucky was losing to Arkansas. It looked like another loss for Kentucky and all but for the last couple minutes it looked like Bobby Petrino still had Kentucky’s number. I had, had a long day and I fell asleep with the game on the TV muted and listening to Tom Leach call the game on the radio. I woke up to hear the post game interview with Rich Brooks on how they had won. What? They won? Yessir they did. This is how they did it.

For most of the game Kentucky looked like a deer in headlights. They didn’t look like they knew what they were doing, they were lost. Penalty after penalty, mistake after mistake. Thanks to Arkansas’ Michael Smith and his great performance Arkansas led Kentucky 14-0 at the half. Arkansas would go up 17-0 after field goal at the 9:45 mark of the 3rd quarter. The Wildcats did show some life though as they got an amazing 71 yard catch and run by running back Alfonso Smith (San Francisco 49ers) and the lead was cut to 17-7.

The fourth quarter rolled around and so did another Arkansas field goal only 5 minutes into the the quarter. Arkansas and Bobby Petrino led Kentucky 20-7 at the 10 minute mark and would keep that lead till the 4 minute mark. Down 20-7 a win for our Wildcats seemed inevitable. They’d have to score quick, and hope the defense could hold Arkansas’ offense and force them to punt. Well, here came Randall Cobb and Mike Hartline and his rosy red cheeks. Hartline drove the team down the field and connected with Randall Cobb on a 32 yard touchdown pass. 20-14 now.

Arkansas’ quarterback Casey Dick threw incomplete on the first play. On the next play the Hogs had a 5 yard penalty for an illegal shift. It was now 2nd and 15. Casey ran but only got back to the line of scrimmage. It was 3rd and 15. DeAnthony Curtis ran for no gain and it was now 4th and 15 and the Kentucky defense had done what it was supposed to do. Now it’s Kentucky’s turn.

Kentucky got the ball at the Arkansas 35 and was in prime position to win the game. Mike Hartline found Alfonso Smith for a 14 yard gain. The next play would prove to be the staple of an amazing come back. Hartline hit Randall Cobb for a 21 yard touchdown as Cobb run through the middle of the field untouched. Kentucky now led 21-20 with 2 minutes left, all Kentucky had to do was get another stop. Arkansas ran the kick back to their 13 yard line. They were again called for an illegal shift pushing them back to the 8 yard line. Casey Dick threw incomplete on 1st, 2nd and 3rd down. It was now fourth down and Dick threw on the run down field and the pass was caught… by Kentucky’s Marcus McClinton for an interception. Kentucky would go on to win 21-20 in one of the best comebacks in Kentucky’s history. It was much sweeter though as it handed Petrino, who was previously 4-0 against UK, his first loss to Kentucky.