Kentucky football: Wildcats grind it to the very end in bazaar fashion to win

Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Dane Key (Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats wide receiver Dane Key (Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports /
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21. 833. 17. 822. Final

It was that kind of day for the Kentucky football team that has become all too familiar this season grinding it to the very end in a bizarre fashion while still securing a 21-17 win over host Missouri where the play and player of the game are hurt on a special team’s miscue and probably lost for the season.

Sound confusing? Well watching strange things happen to this Wildcat team this season has become the norm.

Still with the victory after getting pummeled 44-6 by Tennessee last week the UK victory makes them bowl-eligible for the seventh straight season.

Odds makers, fans, and coaches knew it was going to be a rock fight type of game and there were even some actual fists and elbows thrown during the game. Kentucky was favored by 1.5 points and the over/under hovered around 40 points much of the week and that proved to be pretty accurate.

It felt more like the Kentucky and Vanderbilt games over the past decades. Never pretty and you just want to escape with a win. Ironically the teams match up next Saturday in Lexington with UK looking for its seventh straight win over the Commodores and seventh win of the season.

The game-saving play came from super senior punter Colin Goodfellow who has been the Wildcat’s most consistent performer.

It had been the one special team’s position where bad mojo had steered clear from this season – until now.

With Kentucky (6-3, 3-3) clinging to a 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter Goodfellow trotted on to punt just looking to do what he does best and pin the Tigers (4-5, 2-4) deep in their territory. What he didn’t count on was the snap sailing high over his head from the UK 42-yard line all the way back to the two-yard line.

As he raced for the ball he looked over his shoulder at the Tiger defense, he somehow had the vision to scoop and try and wheel attempting to try and get some type of foot on the ball. Unfortunately, as he did so Will Norris pummeled him and drew a roughing of the kicker penalty as he was still in the punter’s box.

He lay on the field in pain, chest-beating very fast as trainers raced to him and eventually had to have him carted to the locker room undoubtedly since he is pursuing his dream of being a nurse he had to know the potential diagnosis.

Missouri fans booed while all this was taking place.

The penalty gave Kentucky football an automatic first down and extended their drive that ultimately sealed the game only giving Mizzou just 38 seconds to possess the ball.

Goodfellow more than likely saw his season and career come to an end but he gets my game ball for that victory with no debate.

As for the other quick takeaways here we go.

No. 2 Special teams blunders by Kentucky football never seem to go away

It wasn’t just on the punting side it was the field goal-kicking special teams mishaps that raged up again. Does this sound like a broken record?

With points expected to be a minimum, the field goal team didn’t help the cause as Matt Ruffolo missed two field goals where the combined six points probably would not have led to Goodfellow’s demise and made the game so tight down the stretch.

The first miss was in the first quarter from 43-yards and the second was in the second quarter from 47-yards. Snaps, holds, etc have just become comical and the drawing the ire of Big Blue Nation fans clamoring for the team to hire a special teams coach which they don’t employ at the moment.