LEXINGTON, Ky. – Andre Woodson stood calmly in the middle of the field Saturday as thousands of fans went crazy around him – the college football landscape upended yet again.
The No. 17 Wildcats became the latest team to shake up the national title race and the first in nearly four years to take down the top-ranked team in the regular season.
At the end of a triple-overtime thriller, it was Kentucky 43, No. 1 LSU 37.
“It proved we’re a team that obviously earns a lot more respect now,” Woodson said in the middle of the on-field celebration. “We’ve come a long way from being a doormat in the SEC to competing with the best teams in the SEC and getting some wins.”
Woodson found Steve Johnson open in the end zone for a 7-yard score in the third extra period. The 2-point conversion, required after two overtimes, failed but it didn’t matter.
“Whenever it starts to look dark, that’s when they dig down and find something extra,” said Kentucky coach Rich Brooks, who is an alumnus of Nevada Union.
With a chance to win it, LSU couldn’t get a first down on four straight running plays. Charles Scott was stopped by Braxton Kelley a yard short on fourth-and-2. Scott walked off the field in tears.
“He came out of nowhere,” Scott said. “I thought I was close.”
As a result, Kentucky (6-1, 3-1 SEC) got its first victory over a No. 1 team since 1964, when it beat Mississippi.
Kelley brushed it off as just another clutch play from another underdog in a season of surprises.
“Football is football,” Kelley said. “Each player has the drive to make plays, and all around the nation right now, people are doing that.”
But Kentucky topped them all by toppling No. 1.
No highly ranked team seems to be safe in this season of surprises. It started with Appalachian State knocking off then-No. 5 Michigan in Week 1. In the last two weeks, nine teams ranked in the top 10 have lost, including No. 2 USC falling 24-23 to Stanford last week.
In addition to LSU’s loss on Saturday, No. 2 California lost to unranked Oregon State 31-28. This marked the first time the top two teams lost on the same day since Sept. 21, 1996, when No. 1 Nebraska was beaten 19-0 by Arizona State and No. 2 Tennessee fell 35-29 to Florida.
Andrew Jackson (Nevada Union, ’06); Fresno State Ð Starting at right guard, Jackson helped the Bulldogs rush for 238 yards and a 37-24 victory Saturday over host Idaho. It was the third straight victory for the Bulldogs (4-2).
Sean Johnson (Nevada Union, ’06); Lewis and Clark College – Johnson started for the Pioneers at guard in a 48-7 loss to Whitworth Thursday.
Zach Masch (Nevada Union, ’07); Arizona Western Ð The Matadors lost to Scottsdale, 25-22 Saturday in overtime. Masch, a freshman defensive tackle for the Matadors, had a sack and a solo tackle in the game.
Leigh Collins (Nevada Union, ’06); Biola University Ð Collins, who starts as defender for Biola, played the entire 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Asuza Pacific Saturday, the No. 2 team in the country in the NAIA.
Courtney Paquin (Nevada Union, ’05); Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, North Carolina) Ð Paquin provided two assists for Belmont’s 7-0 drubbing of Erskine Oct. 9.
Kacey Rogers (Nevada Union, ’06); Notre Dame de Namur Ð Rogers played in a 2-0 loss to Hawaii-Hilo on Wednesday.
Rachel Wittler (Nevada Union, ’07); William Jessup Univ. Ð Wittler’s team lost two games over the week to Bethany (2-1) and Simpson (2-0). Wittler, who plays defender, had one shot on goal against Simpson, a header off of a corner kick.
Jillian Witzke (Forest Lake Christian, ’06); Sierra Community College Ð Witzke’s team tied two games over the week to American River and Cosumnes River Colleges. Both games ended 1-1.
Ali Daley (Nevada Union, ’05); UCLA Ð The junior posted her first career 20-20 match on Saturday, getting a personal best 26 kills and another best with 25 digs. But despite the outstanding individual performance from Daley and an eye-popping performance by two other teammates (29 digs and 52 assists) the Bruins fell to No. 4 Oregon State in five games; 31-29, 16-30, 30-27-17-30, 15-13. Daley and the Bruins are now 15-3 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-10.
Daley’s 20-20 match was the first for the Bruins since 2001. On Friday, she posted another double-double with 19 kills and 11 digs in a 3-1 win over Oregon.
Torrey Haddad (Forest Lake Christian, ’07); Walla Walla University (College Place, Wash.) Ð Haddad served up 42 assists in a 3-1 loss to Easter Oregon on Oct. 9. She added two kills and seven digs in the match.
Megan Wisniewski (Forest Lake Christian, ’05); University of California, Santa Cruz Ð Wisniewski’s team went 2-2 over the last week at the Wild West Shootout Tournament.
Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college/professional athlete with local ties, please contact Brian Hamilton via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 477-4240.
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