The Kentucky Wildcats picked up a huge win on Saturday night as they beat the 10th-seeded Florida Gators 20-13 with a goal line in the dying seconds for their first home win over the Gators since 1986.
One player who had an outstanding performance was JJ Weaver, who received a buyout for the terrible year 2020.
Before Weaver was on the field for the Cats that year, he faced tragedy. Her father, Terrance, was murdered during a home invasion in June.
Then, in Kentucky’s game with the Gators, Weaver was covering tight end Kyle Pitts when he fell to the ground with a season-ending knee injury.
Weaver suffered so many losses in 2020, but Mark Stoops, Brad White and his teammates “got together as a family so it made me open up more, made me mature a lot. It made me believe in the system. Weaver said on Saturday.
With the Gators arriving in town on Saturday, Weaver had his chance to redeem himself. It was a game that meant a lot to the state, the program, the team and most of all to Weaver himself.
“This game meant the world to me. I tore my ACL. My father is dead. I had to show myself for my team tonight. I told them, ‘Believe in me. It’s a game that I really need. I was down last year so this game was more than a football game for me. This game was like the world, for real.
Weaver spent the week watching a ton of pre-game movies. In the 4th quarter, Weaver had a massive interception for the Cats.
Instead of playing the zone, Weaver recognized a Florida play from a film study and told Carrington Valentine he was doing a man-to-man match on the tight end. This decision worked rather well.
“I watched a movie all week. The tight end will go straight to a green. I undercut it and took off from there. Kyle Pitts messed me up last year, tore my ACL off, so you all know what’s going on.
Weaver used everything he had been through in 2020 as fuel for the game against the Gators, and it paid off as he helped the defense shine in a historic win for the Wildcats at Kroger Field.
For his efforts, Weaver was nominated for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award, it was announced on Tuesday. You can read more about this appointment here.
A Sea of Blue comes with Kentucky Wildcats links, news, analysis, and other fun stuff, so ‘like’ our Facebook page and Follow us on twitter.