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Here Comes Kentucky

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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This game had everything. Including a spotlight on a team and a program that people need to be talking more about.

Already in the national polls, Kentucky just made a primetime national statement. With a thrilling 20-13 victory over Florida, their first home win over the Gators since 1986, the Wildcats also just made history. Now 5-0, they, furthermore, just sent a loud-and-clear message to the rest of the SEC East: Kentucky is the top challenger in the division to Georgia. All of college football is now paying attention. 

In a thrilling game between ranked teams on an electric showcase night Lexington, the Wildcats earned a signature win over a Florida team that recently took Alabama to the absolute brink; the key word is earned. Protecting a touchdown lead with less than two minutes remaining, Kentucky was backed up against its own 10-yard line late. With help of a 3rd-down defensive penalty, the Gators actually had seven snaps from inside the home-11. The team that won ultimately made the plays that mattered. 

The Wildcats held strong and, as one of just three unbeatens in the SEC, held serve. That list is suddenly: Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky.

What a night. What an effort. Linebacker Jacquez Jones had the game-winning pass breakup. Running back Chris Rodriguez rushed for a stretch shy of 100 yards, with a touchdown. Receiver Wan'Dale Robinson had a 41-yard dash for six. Special-teamer Trevin Wallace returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for a score. The Wildcats had just 30 penalty yards, while Florida had 115. After an opening touchdown for the Gators, Kentucky responded with a 21-3 run and, later, the deciding stand. 

This game had everything. Including a spotlight on a team and a program that people need to be talking more about.  

Kentucky's signature victory is one for the record books. It's also one that changes the dynamic in the SEC East. There is another contender to name. The Wildcats will next play LSU and at Georgia in a stretch that could reshape the national conversation. Kentucky enters that spotlight with as much momentum as almost any team in the country. Dating back to the end of last season, the Wildcats have now won seven games in a row overall.

Kentucky is here. Fresh off a win for the ages, the Wildcats are ready for more.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports