There’s no way around it. For the past 29 seasons, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Florida Gators have faced off. And every time, Florida has won.
Whether the streak is a point of pride or scorn, it’s something to behold. Here are 29 facts to help put this monster of a streak into some sort of context leading into Saturday’s showdown in Gainesville.
1. The last Kentucky win over Florida was on Nov. 15, 1986 by a 10-3 score on a drizzly day at Commonwealth Stadium.
2. Kentucky’s coach in that 1986 game was Jerry Claiborne, who retired after 1989 and passed away in 2000. UK has had six head coaches since.
3. Florida’s coach in that 1986 game was Galen Hall, who left Florida after 1989 due to NCAA issues. He moved around and ended up at Penn State, from where he retired. Florida has had five head coaches since Hall, including Steve Spurrier, who was about to be named the head coach at Duke.
4. At the time of that 1986 game, Florida had zero official SEC championships and zero NCAA championships. Only three times had Florida finished the season in the AP poll Top 10.
5. Since 1986, the Gators have won eight SEC championships, three NCAA championships, and have finished the season in the AP poll Top 10 14 times.
6. At the time of that 1986 game, Kentucky had one sole and shared SEC championship and arguably one NCAA championship, as well as two Top 10 final rankings.
7. Since 1986, Kentucky has won no SEC titles or NCAA titles, and has not finished a season in the AP Top 10.
8. Since holding Florida to three points in 1986, Kentucky has held the Gators under 20 points only once — in last year’s 14-9 loss.
9. Since the 1986 game, Florida has scored 40 points in the series 15 times. The Gators have scored 50 points six times, 60 points three times, and 70 points once (in a 73-7 game in 1994).
10. Final score: Head Ball Coach 568, Kentucky 208.
11. Since the 1986 game, Kentucky has failed to reach double figures in the series 10 times. UK has scored 30 points five times, and has a high of 37 points in a 45-37 loss in 2008.
12. Before that 1987 game, Florida led the all-time series just 20-17.
13. The final margin in the past two games has been one score (14-9 in 2015, 36-30 in triple overtime in 2014). Kentucky’s only other two-year streak like that was in 2002 (41-34 loss in the Swamp) and 2003 (24-21 loss at UK).
14. Despite the misery of the streak, Kentucky has its fair share of highlights. Tim Couch and Craig Yeast set a school record in the Swamp in 1998 when they hooked up for a 97-yard touchdown pass. Yeast also had a 100-yard kick return touchdown in the 51-35 loss, and finished his day with 206 receiving yards, second in UK single-game history.
15. In 2007, UK quarterback Andre Woodson was 35-for-50 for 415 yards and five touchdowns. But the Gators won 45-37, as Tim Tebow countered with 256 yards and four scores, as well as an additional 78 rushing yards and a touchdown.
16. In 2004, Florida running back Ciatrick Fason exploded for 210 rushing yards in a 20-3 win. That’s still the fourth best single-game rushing mark in Florida history.
17. In 2010, Florida freshman Trey Burton set a school record by scoring six touchdowns in a 48-14 win. Burton rushed for five scores and caught the sixth. He had only 14 more touchdowns in the rest of his UF career.
18. In 2014, UF receiver Demarcus Robinson tied the school record with 15 catches for 216 yards in a 36-30 triple overtime matchup. Only five players have caught more in a game in SEC history.
19. One of the weirdest games was in 2002. Florida led 19-0 at the half. UK leapt to a 28-25 lead, but Florida came back to win 41-34. UK receiver/returner Derek Abney caught a touchdown and returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the second half.
20. One of UK’s most heartbreaking games was 2003, when the Wildcats led 21-3 at the end of the third quarter, but a costly Jared Lorenzen interception late led to a 24-21 Gators victory in freshman QB Chris Leak’s first big comeback win.
21. Perhaps the most dramatic game in the series came in 1993. Spurrier alternated young QBs Terry Dean and Danny Wuerffel, who combined to throw seven interceptions. But when Wuerffel found receiver Chris Doering in the final seconds with a 28-yard touchdown, UF shocked UK 24-20.
22. Florida fans loved Spurrier’s Fun-N-Gun offense, but due to some alleged bad blood with Kentucky coach Bill Curry, the Wildcats only got the Gun part. In 1994 and 1996 visits to the Swamp, Spurrier ran up a combined 138-7 score over the Wildcats. Spurrier, as he usually did, laughed last. Curry’s last year at UK was 1996.
23. At 29 straight losses, the streak is tied for the fifth longest in NCAA history. The others? Notre Dame over Navy (43 in a row, snapped in 2007), Nebraska over Kansas (36 in a row, snapped in 2005), Oklahoma over Kansas State (32 in a row, ended in 1969), and Penn State over Temple (31 in a row, ended in 2015).
24. The longest active yearly streak other than UK/UF? Michigan and Indiana, which is at 20 in a row for the Wolverines. They meet again Nov. 19 at the Big House.
25. Kentucky last won in Gainesville in 1979, in a 31-3 whipping.
26. When UK last beat Florida, Ronald Reagan was President of the U.S., the Berlin Wall was still a thing, Top Gun was the top grossing movie, and Bon Jovi’s breakthrough single “You Give Love a Bad Name” was two weeks away from rising to No. 1.
27. The last time UK beat Florida, Mark Stoops was a freshman defensive back at Iowa.
28. The last time UK beat Florida, Jim McElwain had his first coaching job, as a graduate assistant at Eastern Washington.
29. If you flip a coin 29 times, the odds of it coming up the same each time are 1 in 536,870,912.
Source: Saturday Down South