Interviews had just ended after a crazy, come-from-behind victory over Missouri and Jordan Jones decided he had a little more to say.
The senior linebacker stared directly into the camera on a reporter’s phone and said: “We need everyone to come out and support us. Be as loud as you can. We’re fighting for a championship here, guys.”
Kentucky will go into its biggest game in who knows how long facing Georgia with a Southeastern Conference East Division title on the line at an already sold out Kroger Field on Saturday.
It also will go into the game with a new ranking, but still just outside the top 10. The Cats were leapfrogged by Washington State into the nation’s elite teams.
The Cougars were rated No. 14 a week ago and UK was ranked No. 12. Ohio State moved up one spot back into top 10.
The Cats, who are 7-1 and 5-1 in the league, were voted No. 11 in the latest Associated Press poll, which came out on Sunday afternoon. Kentucky will face Georgia, which is ranked No. 6.
It is Kentucky’s highest ranking since Oct. 14, 2007, when the Cats were rated No. 8 nationally.
After the victory over Missouri on Saturday, junior running back Benny Snell shared Jones’ feelings that bigger things are on the line.
What will it be like to play for an SEC East title?
“Everybody’s going to be fired up from Monday, maybe even Sunday until it’s game day,” Snell said. “We’re going to be getting at it every single day. The energy’s going to be up around Lexington. The fans, everybody.”
The Bulldogs, who have the No. 2 scoring offense in the SEC averaging 38.6 points per game, will be going up against a Kentucky defense that is tied for first in the country, allowing just 13 points a game.
Georgia (7-1, 5-1) is the league’s second best rushing offense, managing 221.6 yards per game and its No. 2 passing offense, putting up 236.1 yards per game.
It’s going to be a tall task. Georgia has won eight straight over the Cats.
“You have to find a way if you’re going to be a championship team,” Stoops said on Saturday night. “You have to find a way to win games like this. I’m just very proud of our team for doing that.”