clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kentucky Football: The Good, Bad and Ugly from Beating Florida

It wasn’t perfect, but Kentucky finally triumphed over Florida for the first time since 1986.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

Offensive Line

Kentucky’s offensive line did a masterful job against Florida’s defense. Seldom do you see an offensive line dominate like UK’s did. You could visibly see them moving Florida’s D-Line at will. Florida came into the year touting an experienced defensive line.

For Kentucky to win the upfront battle the way they did, that was truly an impressive performance. For the second week in a row, Kentucky had two 100-yard rushers, something that we haven’t seen since Benny Snell and Boom Williams were carrying the offense in 2016.

Oh, and Florida didn’t record a single sack while getting just three tackles for loss. This was sheer domination by Kentucky’s big uglies.

Benny Snell

Benny Snell is a bad man. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 175 yards! Florida held Snell to only 59 yards on 14 carries in 2017.

Granted, Florida’s defense lost a few important pieces after the season and played this one without star defensive end Cece Jefferson. Even so, The offensive line did it’s job of creating gaps and Snell capitalized on them. The ability to run the ball opened up the mismatches we saw in the passing game.

He even dominated Florida off the field with his twitter account.

Obviously, we’re all going to be a little biased when it comes to UK players, but Snell is being completely disregarded once again in the Heisman race. Given his previous body of work, he should at least be mentioned as a potential candidate after the start he’s had to the season.

Side note:Snell’s spinner mouthpiece could be the coolest thing out there right now.

Second-Half Terry Wilson

In a similar fashion as the first half of the Central Michigan game, Terry Wilson forced an interception near the end zone and coughed up a fumble in the first half against Florida. He responded wonderfully in the second half, though. Wilson led two long touchdown drives on their first two possessions after halftime.

Both Wilson and the UK coaching staff deserve credit for the improvements in the 2nd half. Kentucky utilized him more as a runner than in their first game against Central Michigan.

After being down 10-7 at half, Wilson’s 24 yard touchdown run at the start of the 3rd quarter brought the momentum back. His final stats were 11/16 passing for 151 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 10 carries for 105 yards and a rushing touchdown.

While Snell was the best player on the field in this game, second-half Terry Touchdown was right behind him. Together, these two are already taking Kentucky to new heights.

Josh Allen and the Kentucky defense

It wasn’t Kentucky’s greatest performance defensively, but their late game heroics saved the game. Early in the 4th quarter, Darius West made an excellent play on the ball to pick off Franks, halting Florida’s drive.

Not surprisingly though, Josh Allen made the two biggest plays for the defense. After a Florida touchdown with 5:15 remaining, Josh Allen dropped back into coverage and broke up the two point conversion attempt, keeping the score at 21-16. As huge as that deflection was for Kentucky to keep the lead at 5, Allen’s strip sack and the very end was the play of the game.

I’ve watched that final play no less than 1,000 times already, and it still gives me chills.

The Bad

Terry Wilson Turnovers

Kentucky could’ve put this game away early, if it weren’t for the two first-half turnovers. Wilson is without a doubt a superb athletic talent. His main issue continues to be forcing plays for costly turnovers. He easily made up for those turnovers though with his second-half play.

Kentucky will just have to live with the good and the bad from Wilson. Since he redshirted at Oregon and played JUCO last year, this is basically his first real action against college level talent. The consistency and improved decision making will come with more experience.

Thankfully, Kentucky was able to overcome his issues against Central Michigan and Florida, but for Kentucky to win games like Mississippi State, at Texas A&M and at Missouri — not to mention stay in the game with Georgia — Wilson is going to have to be much more careful with the ball.

After all, this is a team that believes it’s going to contend for an SEC East title. To do that, Wilson must cut down on the turnovers.

The Ugly

The fact it took 31 years to end the streak

It should not have taken this long to beat Florida. Kentucky should’ve pulled off a win at some point. This was a painful streak that no school or fanbase should ever have to endure, yet Kentucky had to do so for over three decades.

Then again, all those losses made this win feel that much sweeter.

And thankfully, it’s dead and gone.