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UK defense locks up ‘Somewhere between Dak Prescott and Cam Newton’

Absolutely suffocating.

Jacquez Jones UK Athletics

The Florida Gators welcomed the then-No. 7 ranked Utah Utes last week to help kick off the 2022 NCAA football season.

The Gators came out on top behind a dominant effort from Anthony Richardson, one of the top quarterback prospects set to be on the NFL Draft board in 2023. He had 106 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns against Utah.

Richardson was the talk of the town this week as analysts were dubbing this matchup with Will Levis as the best early-season opportunity to scout two elite talents against each other.

Gators head coach Billy Napier even went as far as to compare him to former Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton and NFL MVP star Dak Prescott.

If that’s the case, then the Kentucky Wildcats defense needs a ton of credit for what they were able to do.

Richardson left Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as The Swamp, with 143 yards through the air and two interceptions on 14/35 passing.

Something that needs to be made a bigger deal is what the Wildcats were able to hold him to on the ground. Richardson had just six carries for four yards. For a player that topped three digits in rushing yards against a top-10 team a week ago, this is almost unfathomable, and the credit needs to go to the Cats defense.

UK defensive back Keidron Smith had a pick-six, which was a huge part in the Cats’ 26-16 victory. Linebacker Jordan Wright picked off a pass that put UK in the red zone and converted into a touchdown as well.

The turnovers were timely and critical as neither quarterback necessarily gave scouts what they were hoping for. Florida was also held to 4/16 on 3rd-down attempts while netting just 279 total yards.

More importantly, after Florida went up 16-7 early on, Kentucky’s defense didn’t allow another point for the final 34 minutes and 12 seconds.

A spectacular performance that carried Kentucky to a road win over a top-15 ballclub.

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