It’s the game that we all are anxious for and always wonder, will this be the year?
Kentucky had their work cut out for them as they would have to deal with the noise and conditions of the swamp.
Well, it was the year! Kentucky fans can finally have a breath of fresh air and celebrate accordingly.
Out of the gate, Kentucky couldn’t have asked for a better start. They won the toss and deferred to the second half. The defense stepped up and got off the field forcing the Gators to punt.
Kentucky received the ball pinned deep and Terry Wilson led a 9 play 91-yard drive capped off with a 29-yard TD pass to David Bouvier. Wilson had to escape the pocket and make a throw on the run and he did it to perfection giving the Cats an early 7-0 lead.
Florida was able to drive down the field, but Kentucky’s defense didn’t break, and they held the Gators to a field goal. After Kentucky was forced to punt, the Gators drove down the field yet again and punched it in for a TD and took a 10-7 lead.
Once again, Kentucky looks to be the more talented team, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot with costly mistakes. Wilson fumbled the ball, but luckily the defense made a stop.
With the first half winding down, Kentucky was in field goal range but Wilson had a receiver wide open for a TD. However, the pass was underthrown, and the Gators picked it off to end the half and Kentucky trailed at the break 10-7.
After the break, Kentucky came out and looked like a team ready to make history. Kentucky took the lead with just under 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter on a 24-yard TD run by Terry Wilson to put the Cats up 14-10.
Kentucky was able to stop the Gators and then the Cats went 78 yards in 5 plays capped off with a 54-yard TD pass to Lynn Bowden for his first career TD, and it couldn’t have come in a bigger moment to give the Cats a 21-10 lead.
Florida drove down the field and had to settle for a field goal attempt that, in a questionable call, was ruled no good and Kentucky took over.
The defenses went back and forth for most of the time remaining, but Florida broke through and scored with 5:15 left in the game to cut it to 21-16 after a missed 2-pt conversion.
Then Kentucky gave the ball to Benny Snell and got the clock down to under 40 seconds. On the last play of the game, Kentucky forced a fumble and returned it for a TD as the clock ran out to win the game and END the streak with a 27-16 victory.
Thoughts on the game
THE STREAK IS OVER
In the last 31 years, Kentucky has lost the game against Florida in every way imaginable. Heartbreak after heartbreak and we all wondered when it would ever end. Tonight, it happened we finally ended the streak and now the biggest monkey is off Mark Stoops’ back and this program can finally move forward.
No matter what happens the rest of the season, this was still a big step forward for the program. After all, Kentucky hand’t beaten Florida since 1986. During that span, Kentucky has never won more than seven games in a regular season.
Now that the Florida streak is gone, this program can take the next step and have seasons where they win eight-plus games and really take it to new heights.
Benny Snell was amazing
As we all know, Florida player were talking smack about Benny during the week saying things like, “He isn’t that special”. Well, newsflash he is special, and the Gators team knows it. He carried the ball 27 times for 175 yards. He didn’t reach the end zone, but he did what was needed to be done and dominated the Gator defense all night.
Snell is already going down as one of the best running backs in Kentucky history. But on Saturday, Snell cemented his legacy as one of the best players to ever come through Lexington, regardless of position.
Josh Allen is a beast
All night long Allen was getting pressure on the Gators QB and caused a lot of bad throws. He also forced the fumble at the end of the game that closed it out. Not only did he get pressure on the QB he was dropping back into coverage and successfully defending passes. The NFL must be excited to get him in the league.
Allen came close to leaving for the NFL Draft after last season. But he wanted to come back, improve his draft stock and take Kentucky Football to another level. He’s done just that in only two games this year.
The Terry Wilson era is here
Terry Wilson had a not so stellar game one last week but that is understandable seeing it was his first FBS start ever. In this one, he still had two turnovers that needs to be cleaned up but take those away and he had a fantastic game. He was 11/16 for 151 yards and 2 passing TDs. He also ran the ball 10 times for 105 yards and a TD. The QB debate is over.
Kentucky fans are going to be celebrating this one for a long time and I know this has everyone on board for what is still to come.
Defense stands tall again
In the win over Central Michigan, the defense was the real MVP, as they held the Chippewas to just 13 offensive points, and all of those came off of Kentucky turnovers. They looked even better against Florida, who mustered up just 10 points going into the final minutes of Saturday’s game.
Mike Edwards dropped a pick six on that drive that could have made the final score 28-10, and while they did give up a late score, they also returned a fumble for a score to end the game and preserve a 27-16 win.
They were also hammering Feleipe Franks all night and made sure he never found any rhythm. They also held a Dan Mullen offense to just 16 points and 360 total yards in his own building.
This is the best defense of the Mark Stoops era.
Now, here are the postgame notes and milestones, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Team Records and Series Information
- Kentucky is 2-0. Florida is 1-1. This was the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
- Florida leads the series 51-18 but tonight ended UF’s 31-game win streak. This was UK’s first win in Gainesville since 1979 and first time UK has defeated a ranked UF team in Gainesville.
- This was UK’s first win over a ranked Florida team since 1976, when UF was ranked No. 15.
- Next for the Wildcats: on Sept. 15, UK plays host to Murray State. Game time is at noon and it will be televised on SEC Network alternate channel.
- UK moves to 2-0 for the second straight season and fourth time in the past five years.
- UK won its SEC opener for the second year in a row, first time that has been accomplished since 2006-07.
- UK won its SEC road opener for the second year in a row, first time that has been accomplished since 1983-84.
- This was Kentucky’s first win over a ranked opponent since winning at No. 11 Louisville in 2016.
- This was UK’s first win over a ranked SEC opponent since No. 25 Missouri in 2015.
- This was UK’s first road win over a ranked SEC opponent since 1998 at No. 21 LSU.
- UK has had two players rush for at least 100 yards in each of the first two games. Tonight it was Benny Snell and Terry Wilson. In the first game it was Snell and A.J. Rose.
- UK’s game captains were S Mike Edwards, RB Benny Snell, LB Josh Allen and LB Kash Daniel.
- Sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson completed 11 of 16 passes for 151 yards and his first two UK touchdown passes.He rushed for 105 yards, his first 100-yard game as a Wildcat. He is the first UK quarterback to break the century mark since Jalen Whitlow ran for 101 vs. Alabama State in 2013.
- He is also the first UK quarterback to rush and throw for at least 100 yards since Whitlow vs. Alabama State in 2013.
- His 54-yard touchdown bomb to Lynn Bowden is the longest pass of his young UK career.
- Junior running back Benny Snell Jr. rushed 27 times for 175 yards.Has 2,724 career yards, moving past Derrick Locke (2,618) and George Adams (2,648) for fifth place on the UK career list.
- Snell has 14 100-yard games in his career, moving past Rafael Little and Moe Williams for second place in school history.
- Snell ended a streak of seven straight games with a touchdown.
- Senior wide receiver David Bouvier caught a 29-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, his second TD in as many games.
- Sophomore wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. hauled in a 54-yard bomb for a third-quarter touchdown. It is the first TD of Bowden’s career and his career-long pass reception.For the game, he caught four passes for 79 yards, tying his career-high receiving yards.
- For the second consecutive game, junior linebacker Kash Daniel led the Wildcats with 11 tackles.
- Senior safety Darius West picked off a pass in the fourth quarter. It is the second interception of his career, both coming vs. Florida (also 2017).
- Senior linebacker Josh Allen totaled five tackles, a sack, one-half tackle for loss, caused one fumble, broke up a pass and had a quarterback hurry.His sack on the final play of the game was picked up and returned for a touchdown by Davonte Robinson.
- He entered the game leading all active SEC players in career sacks with 15.5.
- Sophomore safety Davonte Robinson scooped the fumble and went 30 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play.
- Junior defensive tackle Phil Hoskins collected his first collegiate sack in the second quarter, a key play in stalling a Florida drive and forcing a field goal.