The Kentucky Wildcats went into Gainesville and ended one of college football's longest losing streaks Saturday, upsetting Florida, 27-16. For ending a 31-game streak to the Gators – the fourth-longest in NCAA history in an uninterrupted series – Kentucky (2-0) earned National Team of the Week honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) for the weekend of September 7/8.
The award is sponsored this season by Reveal Suits.
This is the second time for Kentucky to win the honor dating to the 2002 season, and the Wildcats’ first since 2007. The FWAA's All-America Committee selects the weekly winner and all FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected.
In the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams, the Wildcats beat the Gators for the first time since 1986 behind sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson, who threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns and added 105 yards on the ground with another touchdown. Junior running back Benny Wilson rushed for 175 yards on a bullish 27 carries and moved into fifth place on Kentucky’s all-time rushing list (2,724 career yards).
Kentucky had not won in Gainesville since 1979, and this was the Wildcats’ first road win over a ranked SEC opponent since 1998 at No. 21 LSU. The Wildcats are 2-0 for a second straight season, won their SEC opener in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2006-07, and won their SEC road opener for a second year in a row for the first time since the 1983-84 seasons.
"I'm happy for our administration and our fan base. Our fan base has waited a long time for this," Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops said. "To say that it doesn't bother them would be a lie because it's the unnecessary burden that these players carry when they come into a streak like that. They don't deserve that because they weren't a part of it. We don't have to deal with it anymore after today. I'm just very grateful for our team, it was truly a team victory."
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 8 were:
East Carolina (1-1): The Pirates posted a third consecutive win over North Carolina and a seventh win in their last nine meetings against an ACC opponent with a 41-19 home win. ECU led 21-19 at the half, but its defense came up with two fourth-and-one stops and only gave up five first downs and 78 total yards in the second half. The Pirates had 220 rushing yards and 510 total yards.
Eastern Michigan (2-0): Freshman kicker Chad Ryland nailed a 24-yard field goal as time expired to send the Eagles to a 20-19 win on the road at Purdue and post their second win over a Power 5 opponent in school history. The last-second score came at the end of a 15-play, 75-yard drive that included a conversion on fourth-and-15. EMU is 2-0 for only the third time in the last 20 seasons, and beat a Big Ten team on the road for a second consecutive season after winning at Rutgers last year.
Kansas (1-1): The Jayhawks ended a long streak of their own, snapping the second-longest road losing streak in college football history at 46 games with a dominating 31-7 win at Central Michigan. Kansas had not won on the road since this same week (Sept. 12) in the 2009 season. The Jayhawks’ defense came up with four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown as part of 17 points it scored off CMU turnovers. KU led 7-0 at the half before two touchdown runs by Pooka Williams (125 yards) broke the game open in the third quarter.