LEXINGTON, Ky. A weekend that began with Kentucky's basketball Madness ended with an even wilder celebration on the football field.
A swarm of blue-clad spectators stormed the field after a triple-overtime thriller in which the No. 17 Wildcats did something they hadn't done since 1964 knock off the nation's top-ranked team. In fact, nobody had done that in the regular season in nearly four years.
The fans made sure the players grasped the significance of their 43-37 stunner over LSU on Saturday.
"This was the first time I stayed on the field after the game," defensive end Jeremy Jarmon said. "Watching the fans rush the field just shows the backing we have as a team. It is the chance of a lifetime to have the No. 1 team travel into your stadium and you get the opportunity to upset them."
Five years ago, when these teams last met at Commonwealth Stadium, Kentucky fans also rushed the field, only to find their celebration halted by a play still known in Baton Rouge as the "Bluegrass Miracle." Devery Henderson grabbed a tipped pass and carried it 75 yards for the game-winning score.
"Maybe that's payback for the one that got away," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said.
Kentucky's payback didn't feature any single plays quite as dramatic as Henderson's catch, but it did feature a 13-point comeback, a key fourth-down stop in triple-overtime, and a clutch TD pass from Andre Woodson, one of the nation's top quarterbacks.
Woodson found Steve Johnson open in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score. Earlier in the game, he found Johnson on a 51-deep route reminiscent of the play that beat rival Louisville a few weeks ago.
For the third time this season, Woodson engineered a comeback upset either late in the fourth quarter or in overtime.
"We just continued to believe," Woodson said. "The defense kept them out of the end zone and set up field goals instead. We kept believing that we could move the ball."
Kentucky (6-1, 2-1) moved the ball against the nation's top-ranked defense despite playing without Rafael Little, its top rusher. Third-string back Alfonso Smith wasn't available either, and backup Tony Dixon had a hip injury flare up during the game.
That meant fourth-stringer Derrick Locke carried the load down the stretch, contributing a TD in the first overtime.
The last No. 1 team beaten during the regular season happened Dec. 6, 2003, when Kansas State upset top-ranked Oklahoma 35-7 for the Big 12 title.
No. 2 California also lost Saturday, to unranked Oregon State, but with all the national title talk, Brooks was more interested in the SEC standings.
"This is one game and it is huge, but we have five left and they're all tough," Brooks said. "What we did is give some other people hope that they're still in the mix, and they are. I don't know that anybody is out of it in the SEC East or West right now."
That certainly includes the Wildcats, who get little time to rest on their laurels with defending national champion Florida coming to town next.
"We have to forget about this game tomorrow and get ready to play Florida next week," Johnson said.