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Penalties Matter

Saturday’s game will be hard to forget. In the case of UK fans we don’t want to forget and for Florida fans it’s a game they can’t forget. Florida came into Kroger Field expecting a win and ran into a very, very loud buzz saw. By the time the final horn sounded the Gators managed to amass 15 penalties for 115 yards with most of those being of the False Start variety. As coaches and players emphasized afterwards, this was due in no small part to the raucous atmosphere in the stadium generated from 62,000 rabid fans. Florida’s offense was a victim of the Big Blue Nation at its best.

To appreciate just how impactful those penalties were, each of the penalties was looked at beyond just the yardage to how each may have affected the game from the point of field position, down and distance or even how the penalty may have edged into the psyche of the Florida team. Butterfly effect be damned, we’re just trying to look at each penalty as a standalone event.

First Quarter

1. Personal Foul – Unnecessary Roughness (15 yards)

Florida’s first penalty was on a punt by UK where the Florida player pushed a UK player out of bounds into UK’s sideline then ran 2 yards out of bounds among the UK coaches to push the player (and some coaches) again. Punk move that could have resulted in an immediate ejection.

2. False Start #1 (5 yards)

At their own 27 yard line Florida had a 3rd and 8 which magically turns into 3rd and 13. Florida couldn’t make the long conversion and had to punt.

Second Quarter

3. False Start #2 (5 yards)

Florida has the ball on their 21 yard line looking to make a short conversion. Nope. 5 yard penalty puts them at 3rd and 6.

4. False Start #3 (5 yards)

BBN raises its volume and creates another false start now putting Florida at 3rd and 11. Paschal stuffs it, drive killed before it gets started and Florida has to punt. This one-two gut punch in penalties would be the omen for the rest of the day for Florida.

5. Delay of Game (5 yards)

Not being able to get a field goal attempt off in time creates an embarassing moment for Florida as they are backed up to retry. They do make good on the attempt so they escape with no effect due to penalty. From a confidence point of view the overall drive was 11 plays with only 3 points to show for it. Great defense.

6. Offsides (5 yards)

On the ensuing kickoff Florida is offsides which results in a re-kick. The first kickoff was stopped at the 16, the second at the 26. Hidden bonus of 10 yards.

Third Quarter

7. False Start #4 (5 yards)

This was a great one to illustrate Florida’s mindset – confused. On 3rd and 3 on the UK 27 Kentucky was very slow getting lined up on defense. Florida tried to get the snap off quick to catch UK but several Gators jumped the snap anyway. Dumb. Now 3rd and 8 they couldn’t convert and had to punt… all of 20 yards. This ended a 5 play drive where Florida had already gotten 3 first downs, though one was due to the questionable PI on Valentine. Goodbye momentum.

8. Personal Foul - Blindside Block (15 yards).

This one occurred on the same play where Levis was intercepted. Instead of starting at the UK 16, Florida starts from the UK 31. (See #9)

9. Personal Foul – Holding (10 yards)

On the drive after the interception Florida gets stuffed a couple of plays but a UK offsides gives them a 3rd and 3. They seem to convert but a holding call puts them at 3rd and 13 which gets stuffed. Defense rules. On 4th and 13 they try for a field goal but it is blocked then returned for a TD.

10. False Start #5 (5 yards)

Florida working from their 30 yard line on 2nd and 5. Moves to 2nd and 10 but they are able to convert and continue the drive.

11. Personal Foul – Late Hit (15 yards)

Starting from the UK 19 Levis hits Robinson in the right flat, he gets 13 yards then the Florida player pushes him when out of bounds. Kentucky now moves up to start at the UK 47. Drive ends when UK doesn’t convert on 4th and 2.

Fourth Quarter

12. Personal Foul – Holding (10 yards)

Just after Kentucky gives the ball up on downs, Florida starts with a 17 yard pass from their 34 yard line. Holding call brings ball back to FL 24 for 1st and 20. First play run nets 6 yards then on 2nd and 14 Florida tries to convert. Kentucky intercepts the pass on next play and goes on to score in 5 plays. UK 20 FL 10

13. False Start #6 (5 yards)

Florida continuing a drive to score at the UK11 lines up to go for it on 4th and 2. QB runs for a first down but false start leaves them at 4th and 7. They go for a field goal and make it. No TD!

14. False Start #7 (5 yards)

Continuing on a long drive Florida is sitting on the UK 5 on 3rd and 5 when false start sends Florida back to the 10 yard line for 3rd and goal to go. Oxendine’s penalty puts the ball on 5 yard line with fresh set of downs.)

15. False Start #8 (5 yards)

On first down Florida receiver’s knee touches at 9 to make it 2nd and 9. Florida’s running back jumps early to push Florida to 2nd and 14. Defense holds. The rest is history. UK 20 – FL 13.

I would like to thank the defense, the BBN and Florida for helping us with this monumental victory.

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