The Florida Gators defeated the University of Kentucky Wildcats 49 - 28 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington Kentucky on Saturday. The game was not nearly as close as the score might indicate, as the game was a case of two halves. In the first half the Gators completely dominated the Wildcats 49 - 7, it was no contest after Florida spotted Kentucky a 7 - 0 lead, the Gators scored 49 points on seven consecutive possessions to put the game away. In the second half, Coach Urban Meyer emptied the bench, the backups allowed the Wildcats to score 21 points to make the final score more respectable.
Jermalle Cornelius, Chris Leak, the first team defense
Chris Jackson, the first team offensive line, Deshawn Wynn and the rest of
the running backs.
Special teams, anybody who is not a starter
Led by defensive end Jeremy Mincey the first team defense completely out
manned the Kentucky offensive line. The Gators were able to push Kentucky
around in the first half helping to limit the Wildcats to just 66 total
yards in the first half. In the second half the second team defensive line
was able to get decent pressure on the Wildcats, redshirt freshman Jarvis Moss had his first career sack, but had trouble against the run and
containing the mobile Kentucky quarterback.
GRADE 1st team A Backups B-
The starters were solid, led by Earl Everett's two pass interception which
setup two of Florida's first half scores. Brandon Siler had 3 tackles, with
Everett and Todd McCullough adding two tackles each in just under a half's
worth of work. Backup Brian Crum had five tackles and true freshman Jon Demps four tackles in the second half, but were making tackles well past the
line of scrimmage and seemed out of place on both rushing and passing plays.
GRADE 1st team A- Backups C
Once again the starters completely dominated the first half. Starting
cornerbacks Vernell Brown Dee Webb, who caused a fumble to set up a score,
along with starting safeties Jarvis Herring and Kyle Jackson allowed
virtually nothing through the air. Reggie Nelson had an interception and a
sack as well as solid coverage to complete his best game to date. Reserve
safety Tony Joiner had a solid game in a backup role recording six tackles
and a pass interception. Backup corners Avery Adkins and Tremaine McCollum
struggle in coverage in the second half.
GRADE 1st team A Backups C
On the positive side is the fact the first team line only allowed one sack.
On the negative side is the fact that the Kentucky defensive line isn't very
good. Florida rushed for 187 yards on 42 attempts, however, 5 rushes
accounted for 91 of the 187 yards. The backups allowed one sack, but like
the starters were very inconsistent against a marginal Kentucky squad.
Jermalle Cornelius had a career day as a replacement for Andre Caldwell.
Cornelius finished with 8 catches for 138 yards, both career highs. Chad Jackson had 9 catches for 105 yards and two scores, but dropped a couple
that appeared to be catchable. The rest of the receivers contributed only
six other receptions, with freshman Nyan Boateng recording his first career
reception in the third quarter and Dallas Baker hauling in his first
touchdown reception of the season in the second quarter.
Running back by committee was the word of the day. Florida running backs
accounted for 103 yards on 23 carries on the ground, while adding another 50
yards on 5 catches. DeShawn Wynn did all the scoring for the running backs
with 3 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving touchdown. Wynn, Skyler Thornton
and Kestahn Moore each had a run of 13 yards or better, but with a team high
carries of 10 by Wynn, no one got very many chances.
Chris Leak was virtually flawless on Saturday night. Leak completed 25
passes on 32 attempts for 319 yards, with 4 touchdowns against zero
interceptions. Given time, which Leak had an abundance of; Leak picked the
Wildcat's secondary apart. Leak looked sharp in his decision making on the
option run. Backup freshman Josh Portis got plenty of playing time this
week, producing 3 receptions on 4 attempts for 31 yards and led all Florida
rushers with 59 yards on just 8 attempts. Portis looked like the freshman
he is. Portis didn't look as comfortable running the option. Although he
did have a nice 26-yard run on his first play from scrimmage, he carried the
ball like a loaf of bread and was immediately sent to the bench. Portis
also had a fumble deep in Kentucky territory to end a drive in the third
GRADE Leak A+, Portis C
Chris Hetland made all of his extra point attempts. Other than that there
was much good coming from the special teams and the kicking gain. Florida
attempted only four punts and had the first one blocked to set up the
Wildcats first score. Kentucky recovered and onside kick and Florida
allowed an average of 25 return yards on 5 kickoff returns. One week you
are the hero the next week you are the goat.
Offensively Florida wanted to get their spread option offense untracked and
find a replacement for the injured Andre Caldwell. Mission accomplished.
The offense was a juggernaut throughout the first half, rolling up huge
chunks of yardage, converting 9 of 10 third down opportunities and scoring
on seven consecutive series after failing to score on their first series.
Defensively, the Gators manhandled the Wildcats when the starters were in
the game in the first half. Coach Meyer's charges on special teams weren't
very special, but weren't really needed. Meyer's decision to clear the
bench to start the second half seemed appropriate.
GRADE Offense A, Defense B, Head Coaching A
I noticed a contingent of Orange and Blue during the second half as most of
the Kentucky fans had already gone home. But since I watched the game on
television that is about all I could tell.
The Gator's starters can beat the tar out of a team as weak as Kentucky, but
the backups have a long to go before they can say that. The quality of our
backups may become a concern if injuries begin to mount up. Jermalle
Cornelius may make us say Andre Caldwell who. I am not sure our offensive
line or running game proved much against a team the quality of the Wildcats,
next weeks game against Alabama may prove to be a better test. Hope we
don't flunk. Shame the stellar play of the first team defense will suffer
statistically because of the poor second half.
OVERALL GRADE: Fist half A+ Second half C-
The Armchair Quarterback
Later GATORS, after while the rest!
FOOTBALL: Grading The Gators vs. UK
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