Purpose-line stand cements UK’s upset win vs. No. 10 UF

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3 hours in the past
AP

LEXINGTON, Ky. — – On the verge of falling additional behind No. 10 Florida, Kentucky rose with a number of gut-check performs for a memorable victory.

Trevin Wallace returned a blocked area aim 76 yards for the go-ahead landing late within the third quarter, Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a 9-yard scoring run early within the fourth and Kentucky made a remaining defensive stand to carry off No. 10 Florida 20-13 on Saturday evening.

The Southeastern Convention East Division showdown was extra of a slog than a slugfest for a lot of the evening, and the Gators (3-2, 1-2) have been poised so as to add Jace Christmann’s 48-yard area aim try to their 10-7 lead.

Kentucky defensive finish Josh Paschal bought a hand on the low kick that despatched the ball fluttering behind the road to Wallace, a freshman who jetted previous a tackler on the left sideline and reduce via a small seam to race for the game-changing TD with 6:36 remaining within the third.

“My job is to play like the security again there in case something goes fallacious,” Wallace mentioned. “The ball bought tipped and it got here proper to me. … I knew what to do after I bought the ball. I felt one lineman’s hand brush off me and I knew I used to be gone.”

The Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) turned it over on downs on the Florida 34 to start out the fourth quarter however shortly created one other alternative when linebacker J.J. Weaver intercepted Emory Jones‘ cross for a primary down on the Gators 29. Rodriguez took over from there, dashing thrice for 22 yards together with the 9-yard TD for a 20-10 cushion with 11:32 remaining.

Florida bought inside seven on Christmann’s 33-yard area aim with 6:23 left earlier than getting the ball once more a few minutes later and driving to the Kentucky 5 with the assistance of a defensive facemask penalty. A 4-yard loss on a cross play and false begin penalty moved the Gators again to the 14, however they nonetheless had a remaining likelihood from the 8 earlier than Jacquez Jones swatted away Jones’ fourth-down cross with 18 seconds left to seal the win.

Followers stormed the field to have a good time as Kentucky beat Florida at residence for the primary time since 1986 and took a giant step towards difficult No. 2 Georgia within the East. The Wildcats are 5-0 for the primary time since going 10-3 in 2018 and simply the fourth time prior to now 70 years.

“By no means been part of a staff that had followers storm the sphere,” mentioned Kentucky quarterback Will Leavis, who transferred this summer time from Penn State. “The followers have been superior.”

The Wildcats did it regardless of being outgained 382-211, however bought a 41-yard TD cross from Will Levis to Wan’Dale Robinson within the first quarter and 99 yards dashing on 19 carries from Rodriguez.

A slew of false begins comprised lots of Florida’s 15 penalties for 115 yards. Jones accomplished 23 of 31 passes for 203 yards, however the Gators have been held method beneath their common of almost 541 yards that ranked ninth coming in.

“I imply, you are not gonna make all of the errors we made in the midst of a recreation and count on to win,” Florida coach Dan Mullen mentioned. “You are not gonna win within the SEC doing that.”

NOISE FACTOR

Kentucky’s loud, boisterous residence crowd of 61,632 – one aspect of the stadium bathed in blue, the opposite aspect in white with a nook of Florida followers in orange – appeared to disrupt the Gators’ cadence. They dedicated consecutive false-start penalties on one second-quarter possession that misplaced 14 yards and have been out of sync on many crucial performs, together with the ultimate drive after they reached the 5 as one other penalty moved them backward.

Whereas Florida gamers chalked it as much as lack of focus, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was pleased with the sting it gave his staff.

“That they had seven or eight photographs on the finish,” he mentioned, “and that may be a robust hill to climb to cease them that many occasions. There was one other false begin, and thanks, followers, for affecting the sport.”

THREE AND OUT

Each groups struggled on third down. Kentucky entered the sport changing 54% of its possibilities however made simply 1 of 8 in opposition to Florida. The Gators have been simply 4 of 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Florida figures to drop just a few slots with its second SEC loss. Kentucky made a robust case for becoming a member of the rankings for the primary time since its memorable 2018 season.

THE TAKEAWAY

Florida: The Gators moved the ball with Jones and Anthony Richardson however could not end apart from their first TD. Christmann’s 51 yard area aim supplied an edge, however the block and interception dug a gap they could not climb from. The false begins in a loud atmosphere have been particularly expensive in stalling drives and momentum.

“The primary factor that we needed to come do is deal with the atmosphere,” Jones mentioned. “I feel we did a part of the sport, however we simply had too many penalties. You’ll be able to’t win video games like that.”

Kentucky: The Wildcats actually had just one sustained drive and dedicated one other but turnover that almost price them till Paschal and Wallace prevented that from taking place with a clutch particular groups play and TD. Weaver’s pickoff arrange an insurance coverage rating, a uncommon takeaway that proved pivotal in a defensive battle.

UP NEXT

Florida: Hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Kentucky: Hosts LSU on Saturday.


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