#73 Sam Ball
A survivor of Charlie Bradshaw’s Thin Thirty, Sam Ball is one of the best offensive linemen in school history. A three-year letterman from 1963-65, he was a first team All-SEC and first team All-American in his final season at Kentucky. Ball played five seasons with the Baltimore Colts, appearing in two Super Bowls, before he was inducted into the UK Ring of Honor.
1973: Kentucky Opens Commonwealth Stadium
After calling Stoll Field home for nearly 60 years, the home of the Wildcats moved into the 58,000-seat capacity Commonwealth Stadium on the south side of campus. To start the new era of Kentucky football, the program underwent more than one transformation. Fran Curci took the reins of the program. Although success was not immediate, within four years the Wildcats were SEC Champions for just the second time in school history.
Even though they were just 5-6, a few of the greatest to ever wear Kentucky blue shined bright in 1973. It was the final season of Darryl Bishop‘s illustrious career. The safety is still UK’s career interceptions leader with 14. Until Mike Edwards arrived on campus, Bishop was the only defensive back in the Kentucky 300-Tackle Club.
Kentucky fans saw one of the greatest seasons ever produced by a Kentucky running back in 1973. Sonny Collins was named SEC Player of the Year after rushing for 1,213 yards and 13 touchdowns, new school records at the time. Collins concluded his UK career two years later with 3,835 rushing yards, the most rushing yards by a Wildcat… until Benny Snell came to town.
73: Passing yards by Lynn Bowden in the Belk Bowl
Bowden’s 6-of-12 passing performance wasn’t his most efficient or most productive, but it was certainly his most clutch performance as a Wildcat. Lynn Bowden‘s Belk Bowl is the stuff of legend.