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Josh Paschal was the heart of Kentucky’s win over Florida

The cancer survivor was the force behind the Wildcats’ upset over the 10th-ranked Gators.

Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

Saturday night, the Kentucky Wildcats snapped a 35-year-long streak of not beating Florida in Lexington, the last time being 1986.

An improved offense helped do that, with playmaker Wan’Dale Robinson breaking loose for the Wildcats’ first score of the game.

But the unsung hero of the game? Josh Paschal.

Paschal, a cancer survivor, had arguably his best game of his career, he was in the backfield seemingly every Florida Gators snap, disrupting Emory Jones’ rhythm.

In fact, while he was not named National Defensive Player of the week — an honor that went to teammate Jacquez Jones — he was the highest-graded defender via Pro Football Focus with a rating of 84.0.

Paschal had seven total tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He was also the one who got his hand on the blocked field goal attempt that landed in Trevin Wallace’s hands, which went back for six and changed the momentum of the game entirely. It was actually Paschal’s third blocked kick of his career, as he also a blocked punt vs. Eastern Michigan in 2017 and blocked a punt vs. Tennessee in 2019.

The redshirt senior also added three quarterback hurries and six run stops.

Josh Paschal made him some money in a game that will be remembered by Kentucky fans for ages.

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