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In the world of big time college football, it was a dumpster fire of a game. Around here, UK’s first win over Tennessee since 1984 quieted the cry from critics of Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips.

The football gods certainly gave their best effort in trying to maintain the Volunteers win streak over the Wildcats. UT starting quarterback Tyler Bray returned from an injury last week, leading the Vols to an OT win over Vanderbilt (the same team that beat Kentucky by 30) while UK was forced to start wide receiver Matt Roark under center because of injuries to starter Max Smith and backup Morgan Newton.

“How many quarterbacks have we had (in the past 26 years), 15? Who would pick out Matt Roark as the guy who broke the streak?” said Phillips following Saturday’s 10-7 win over Tennessee at Commonwealth Stadium.

“I felt really comfortable out there”, said Roark after a Tebowian 4-of-6 passing for 15 yards but rushing for 124 yards on 24 carries.

“I can’t believe fans stormed the field after a 5-7 season,” said Most Football Fans in America.

The surprise victory over Tennessee undermines the fans who were ready to call for Joker’s job after yet another Kentucky loss to the Volunteers.

Those critics can always use the phrase Cats football fans have been using for decades: There’s always next year.

A similar record next year will most likely cause Phillips to be shown the door, win or lose against Tennessee. You have to think coaches would clamor to take the job. After all, what other SEC school would have a fan base that storms the field after finishing the season with 5 wins…by beating a team with 5 wins?

Photo: Courtesy University of Tennessee

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About John Lewis

John has covered sports all over Kentucky for nearly 20 years, from the mountains of his native eastern Kentucky to the flatlands of western Kentucky, and for the past dozen years, here in Louisville. Yes, he really likes both UK and UofL. He is a long-suffering Seattle Seahawks fan.

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