Hell didn't freeze over.
There were no monkeys or pigs flying around Papa John's Cardinals Stadium in Louisville, KY.
Yet in this week's SEC sign of the apocalypse, the University of Kentucky football team played a little defense. Actually, they played a lot of defense, throwing Heisman-contender Dave Ragone to the turf several times as they upset the No. 17 and BCS-minded Louisville Cardinals 22-17 Sunday night.
Ragone was smacked 13 times - in the first half alone. On UL's unsuccessful last drive, the southpaw could barely get up after being dropped several more times.
"They beat (Ragone) to a pulp," Louisville coach John L. Smith said. "They brought a lot of things at us, and we just didn't pick much up. If you can't block anybody, it's tough to win."
If you had told anyone in Lexington that hefty lefty quarterback Jared Lorenzen would throw for 195 yards, they would laugh and ask how many yards backup Shane Boyd threw.
But for at least one late summer night, the Wildcat's traditionally flimsy defense was no laughing matter.
"I am so pleased and proud for these kids," UK coach Guy Morriss said. "They have worked so hard for this. We talked about taking the next step, and we did that. This game will help us with our confidence, because we beat a very good team."
Gators ready for 'Canes' storm
In the SEC's understatement of the week, maybe the century, Florida coach Ron Zook referred to his squad's Saturday tilt in Gainesville with defending national champion and No. 1 Miami as "a big game."
In what will be Zook's first test as the Gators' coach, he suspects he will be more nervous than his players. They've been in big games before.
"Obviously, it's a big game," Zook said. "But like I told our players, they've been in a lot of big games at the University of Florida. I think it's something probably all the people outside the actual programs are making it bigger."
The Gators' biggest disadvantage coming into the game seems to be their revamped secondary. With only one experienced player in All-SEC free safety Todd Johnson, Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey and receiver Andre Johnson could have a feast.
But Zook, in his typical speed-speaking style, said that doesn't concern him either. He said whether on the field or on the sidelines, they've been there too.
"(Cornerback) Robert Cromartie has played a lot here," Zook said. "And (cornerback) Keiwan Ratliff has a chance to be a really good football player and I think our safeties (Johnson and Guss Scott) are pretty good players. They've played in some pretty big games. These guys have been there before."
- compiled by Wesley Rucker
UK shocks SEC, plays real defense
Published: Wed Sep 04, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:25 p.m.