Kentucky football: From Kentucky to the Super Bowl, Edwards and House meet as foes

Mike Edwards #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Edwards #32 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

From friends to foes, former Kentucky football coach and player meet in Super Bowl LV.

Former Kentucky football coach Matt House and player Mike Edwards are ready for an epic battle.

Who will be going to Disneyland after Sunday is a question most are interested in for other reasons depending on whether their allegiance lies in Kansas City or Tampa Bay. Will Tom Brady win his seventh Super Bowl, will Kansas City repeat as Super Bowl Champs? Will the commercials be any better in 2021? What does a COVID Super Bowl look like? How many gallons of beer will be consumed on Sunday?

All of those are definitely the big national stories that will be answered in the coming days, but what I have my attention on is the Super Bowl’s big Kentucky Football connection and how it will play out.

There were eight former Kentucky players on active, practice or injured lists that made the NFL playoffs this season. Edwards was the lone one to make it all the way through.

 Edwards and  House will meet as adversaries for the first time at the next level since their time at Kentucky. One will be playing in the game, and the other coaching obviously but both will have a big impact on the final result.

House is looking to add a second consecutive super bowl ring after he helped coach the Kansas City Chiefs to a victory in Super Bowl 54 in 2020 with a 31-20 win over San Francisco.

House was pivotal in turning Edwards into the ball-hawk he is today when he was running the defense in Lexington for three seasons.

He arrived in Lexington in 2016 assuming the role of inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator. The following year Mark Stoops promoted him to defensive coordinator while still holding the reigns as inside linebackers coach.

The importance of the duo in regards to the transformation of the Kentucky Football program can’t be ignored. House and Edwards were both apart of some very special teams in Wildcat history, teams that have kept Kentucky Football on an upward path.

House’s influence on the defense was equally as important, House led two other Wildcats to the NFL Draft in 2019 in Josh Allen, and Lonnie Johnson. House led Kentucky’s defense in 2018 to be ranked sixth nationally allowing just 16.9 points per game.

Edwards was as reliable on the field as any, in four years he never missed a game playing in 51 and starting 44 consecutively. Edwards finished what he started and helped lead Kentucky to a victory over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.

His career totals featured:

  • 10 interceptions, which ranks fourth in school history
  • Ran back two interception returns for touchdowns one in 2015 and one in 2018
  • His 318 tackles are good for second in UK history among defensive backs
  • He recorded 20.5 tackles for loss
  • Credited with 23 pass breakups

The Cincinnati native was selected twice as team captain and guided the Wildcats to 29 wins between 2014-2018. This is the second-most for any UK senior class since freshmen became eligible to play in NCAA games beginning in 1972.

He was on Kentucky teams that played in three straight bowl games, the 2016 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, the 2017 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, and the VRBO Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019.

His efforts were rewarded when he was drafted in the third round and 99th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he’s been an important cog in Tampa Bay’s secondary ever since.

House always had high praise to give when talking about Edwards football I.Q.

"“Mike is just a football player that makes plays in space, he does some instinctive things you don’t have to coach him to do.”"

For those wandering Kentucky now has had 32 players who have played for teams in the Super Bowl a total of 43 times. Jacob Tamme was the last one in 2017 with the Atlanta Falcons.

House already has one Super Bowl ring on his finger but I’m sure Edwards would love nothing more than to keep his other fingers bare by getting his own ring. No matter the outcome this Sunday, Kentucky will be well represented with the whole world watching.

When: Sunday, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. C.T.

Where: Raymond James Stadium

Weather: Clear, 68°

Betting Odds: Chiefs by 3.5


TV Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson, Evan Washburn, Jay Feely

Series History: Bucs lead 7-6

Last Meeting: Chiefs won 27-24 (Nov. 2020)

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