It was a great start for the Cats’ defense as they were able to force an early punt from the Gators.
However, the offensive line struggles from week one carried over into this one as Levis was facing a ton of pressure early on.
The Gators found some momentum, but Kentucky held them to a field goal and found themselves down 3-0.
Kentucky’s offense was able to start moving the ball, but crucial offensive line mistakes continued to kill their drives.
However, early in the 2nd quarter, Levis set up and let one fly and true freshman Dane Key went up and pulled down the 55-yard touchdown making it 7-3.
All momentum swung in Florida’s direction as they added a field goal, got an interception, scored a touchdown, and was awarded a safety after a bad snap on a UK punt.
After all of that, the Cats found themselves down 16-7 with just over 4 minutes left in the first half.
With the wheels close to coming off, Jordan Wright, in his first game back, picked off Anthony Richardson and returned it to the 6-yard-line setting the Cats up with a 1st and goal.
Kentucky would get the ball into the end zone on a QB sneak by Levis, but another special teams mistake resulted in a failed extra point.
After a wild 2nd quarter, and a first half full of frustrating mistakes by the Cats, they found themselves only down 16-13 at the break.
The second half was another great start for the defense as they forced a three and out in the Gators’ first possession.
The Cats put together an 11-play drive that ended with a game tying field goal to make it 16-16.
Kentucky gained all momentum as Keidron Smith intercepted Richardson for a pick six giving the Cats a 23-16 lead.
The Kentucky defense was clutch all night, and they stepped up again in the fourth quarter stopping the Gators on a 4th down attempt at their own 40-yard line.
Unfortunately, the Cats couldn’t put the game away as they missed a chip shot field goal.
However, once again on 4th down, the Gators went for it and was stopped yet again giving the Cats the ball on the 24-yard line.
The Cats were not able to find the end zone, but they were able tack on a huge field goal to make it a 26-16 game.
Kentucky was able to take care of business and go on to close this one out and win it 26-16.
With the win, Mark Stoops becomes the all-time winningest coach in Kentucky football history.
Speaking of, after the win, Stoops was heard screaming ‘Who’s soft now!?’ in a victorious postgame locker room celebration.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the game:
Will Levis watched Scarface last night. Cats by 90.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 10, 2022
Good opening series for UK defense. Gave up a first down, but force a punt after three straight Anthony Richardson incomplete passes.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 10, 2022
GREAT play by Jacquez Jones reading that QB Draw!!!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 10, 2022
That’s the worst call in the history of football. UK gets boned in the swamp on a regular basis.— T.J. Walker (@TJWalkerRadio) September 10, 2022
Not only does targeting get overturned, Will Levis has to go to the sideline on 3rd and 17 because his helmet got dislodged. Great drive totally killed by one stupid OL mistake.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 10, 2022
When he’s been upright, Will Levis has been pretty good.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) September 10, 2022
Jalen Geiger is being carted off the field. Doesn't look great. Prayers up to the young man.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2022
DANE MF KEYYY— Wan’Dale Robinson (@wanda1erobinson) September 11, 2022
By land, air, and Key.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) September 11, 2022
JORDAN FREAKING WRIGHT— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 11, 2022
All Jordan Wright does is make explosive plays.— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 11, 2022
That man Dub got that dawg in him— Kash Daniel (@KashDaniel15) September 11, 2022
You got to be ………Part II— Freddie Maggard (@FredMaggard606) September 11, 2022
GREAT defense by UK on third and long. The Jordan Wright sack forces a punt. Three and OUT.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2022
Jordan Wright is a freak.— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) September 11, 2022
That was the first 10+ yard run for a Kentucky running back this season— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) September 11, 2022
Cats were *this* close to taking a lead. But Stoops gotta feel good opening the second half by forcing a three-and-out, then driving 69 yards on 11 plays to tie it (on a clean FG operation) at Florida.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) September 11, 2022
PICK SIX IN THE SWAMP— Big Blue Nation #BBN (@UKBasketbalI) September 11, 2022
ANTHONY RICHARDSON WHAT ARE YOU DOING
KEIDRON SMITH WITH AN INTERCEPTION RETURNED TO THE HOUSE FOR A TOUCHDOWWWWWN KENTUCKY— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 11, 2022
Carrington Valentine breaks it up and the Cats take over.— TheCatsPause247 (@TheCatsPause247) September 11, 2022
HOW DARE YOU GO FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN!! THE DISRESPECT— Cody Couch (@Couch_29) September 11, 2022
TURNOVER!!! HELL YEAH VALENTINE
The Kentucky defense got the ball back in Florida territory, but the Cats come away empty-handed. Matt Ruffolo slightly hooks a 38-yard field goal that would have made it a 2-score game.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2022
Freshman Deone Walker with a MONSTROUS TACKLE FOR LOSS to force a fourth and six. WOW.— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2022
Florida went for it again hahaha.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) September 11, 2022
FOUR AND OUT ON BACK TO BACK POSSESSIONS— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2022
Defense most underrated in the country— Quinton Bohanna (@QBohanna) September 11, 2022
So I guess Smoke can run when's there's space to run...— Van Hiles (@vstyles17) September 11, 2022
SMOKE AND THAT LINE!!!!!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 11, 2022
I think that's UK's first pre-snap penalty of the night. Cats had been excellent until this Horsey false start.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 11, 2022
BURN THE SHIPS— Max Duffy (@Max__Duffy) September 11, 2022
LEVIS WAVING GOODBYE TO THE GATOR FANS— Fifth Quarter Kentucky (@FQKentucky) September 11, 2022
Levis waving bye to Florida fans is a MOOD pic.twitter.com/5PFuhvxsYe— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 11, 2022
Take over the swamp— Lonnie Johnson jr. (@Lonnie30johnson) September 11, 2022
Nail. Coffin. Never a doubt.— Ian Teasley (@ianteasley) September 11, 2022
It’s a lot of Florida bait tonight!— Boom Williams (@boom_that_guy) September 11, 2022
The Cats just absolutely kicked Florida’s ASS that entire 2nd Half— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 11, 2022
WHAT A WIN!!!
Said it once and I’ll say it again. Best coach I have ever had. Congrats Stoops!— SJII (@stephen_h_j) September 11, 2022
Kentucky beats Florida 26-16, the third win over the Gators in five years. Mark Stoops passes Bear Bryant to become the winningest coach in Kentucky Football history!— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 11, 2022
GO CATS!!!!! pic.twitter.com/ReKMR8vR7T
WLAP carries Mark Stoops live talking to team in locker room: "First thing I gotta say is WHO'S SOFT NOW???" as players go wild.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 11, 2022