LEXINGTON — Ronnie Sneed has an idea what his last football game at Kentucky is going to be like.
“I think it is going to be crazy. I know the guys are going to be juiced up and ready to go. Fans who are going to be in the stands, get ready for a great game because the Wildcats are coming out,” said Sneed, a senior middle linebacker who hopes to help the Wildcats beat Tennessee on Saturday for the first time since 1984.
Sneed says there’s only one way for him to approach this game.
“It is my last fight. I am coming out with guns blazing and trying to put on a show,” he said. “This is the last time we are going to be able to play with each other as one big group. Everybody wants this win. We want it bad.”
In Sneed’s other seasons at Kentucky, the Wildcats have gone to a bowl. That won’t happen this year since they are only 4-7, but Sneed says a win Saturday would be as good as a bowl win.
“I definitely think so. We have (not) beaten this team since I have been alive. Going out and getting this win would definitely put us on the right track and have a lot of people forgive some of the bad things that happened this season,” he said.
Sneed says the team doesn’t approach this game as needing to win to add credibility to second-year coach Joker Phillips’s resume.
“I feel like everybody needs a win, not just coach. The seniors on down, everybody needs this win. We weren’t able to go to a bowl game, so we definitely have something to prove,” Sneed said. “I think this win would make up for a lot of things. We haven’t beat them in about 30 years. Definitely overshadowing a lot of bad things this season.”
How bad has it been?
“I think that we just — no, I don’t think it has been that bad. I just think that we just had some young players in key positions and things didn’t go the way we wanted all the time,” Sneed said. “But that’s how it is sometimes. You just try to rebuild, get back on track and try to win this big game.”
If that happens, Sneed expects a huge postgame celebration similar to ones at Commonwealth Stadium after wins over Georgia, LSU and South Carolina in recent years.
“They definitely are going to swamp the field just like when we beat LSU that one year. That is what makes college football fun, and we can’t wait for that to happen,” he said. “And we truly believe this is the year it happens.”
Sneed says his best memory at Kentucky — pending what happens Saturday — is the win over South Carolina and coach Steve Spurrier last season.
“We beat LSU that one year, but it was my redshirt freshman year, so I wasn’t actually out there on the field. I was sort of watching,” he said. “But so far being in the mix for that South Carolina game was one of the highlights of my career. Beating those guys and knocking off Spurrier was a great feeling.
“I just want to get to be part of history again now and get this win over Tennessee. That’s the only thing on my mind right now.”