Florida vs. Kentucky Wrap-Up

The Florida Gators survived horrible special teams play to come away with a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. Inside we analyze how the offense, defense and special teams performed and also look at some post game notes from the press conference.

The Gators get a hard earned home win 41-34 over a determined Kentucky Wildcat 
squad. Florida had a great day offensively and defensively but the third 
unit almost cost Florida the game. The Special Teams were as bad as Coach 
Zook has ever seen and he accepted full responsibility and said it would get 
corrected. He also praised his team for overcoming these mistakes and 
finding a way to win. Here's a recap:

Offense:
Florida decided to throw the ball early in the first half of the game to try 
and soften up the 8 man front Kentucky defense. The combination of Graham and 
Carthon combined for 3 first half touchdowns including two "toss sweeps" for 
Carthon, a play we have not seen very much this season. Because of the failed 
extra points the Gators were only up 19 at the half. Grossman was sharp and 
got number two receiver Perez early in the game. UF's offensive line was 
battling to hold off a good Wildcat interior defensive line. After Kentucky 
got it to 19-7 the Gators responded with a 9 play 80 yard drive capped by 
Taylor Jacobs 5th touchdown of the season from Rex Grossman. Five was not so 
lucky as the Gators missed their fifth extra point of the season 25-7 Florida. 
After a bizarre turn of events, including a fumble by Earnest Graham that put 
the Gators behind 28-25, the Gators responded with another long drive of 
78 yards ended with Jacobs 14th career touchdown, a beautiful 35 yard catch and 
the Gators never trailed hanging on for a 41-34 win. Grossman was 28-43, 375 yards 
and 2 touchdowns. His longest completion was 36 yards so he was very accurate and 
very efficient. Earnest Graham was 32 for 102 with a touchdown while Carthon 
was 6 for 49 with 2 touchdowns. Jacobs had 12 for 183 and 2 touchdowns and 
Perez followed up a great performance in Rocky top with his best of his career 
7 receptions for 89 yards.

Defense:
Keiwan Ratliff had a game saving day returning an interception and a two 
point play to score 8 total points  to better the margin of 7 at the end of 
the game. The Gators shut down Pinner early as Mitchell and Ian Scott both 
played the run very well. Mike Nattiel was very active. The Wildcats only 
totaled 268 yards including the second consecutive sub 100 yard rushing game 
against the Gators defense totaling only 88. The longest drive for Kentucky 
was 39 yards and that was only one play following the Earnest Graham 
fumble. The Gators held the Cats to 1-12 on third down and dominated the time 
of possession. Loerenzen only totaled 180 passing yards and was harassed most 
of the day while the conferences leading rusher  Pinner had 90 yards on 20 
carries. Darrell Lee was not a factor in the defensive game plan and Todd 
McCollough was able to play effectively for the Gators.


Special Teams:
Where do you begin? The punt team blew an inside switch block and had a punt 
blocked. They dropped a punt snap, they had several  extra points blocked and 
the coverage team gave up a 100 yard return. The kick-off return team lacks pop with 
poor blocking and no returners who have the wiggle to take it the distance. 
Punt return is the only area that seems to be in good shape. The punters lack 
confidence and awareness that pressure is coming.

Notes:
From the post game...Zook accepted the blame on special teams and said he and 
Odom work together in preparation of Special Teams. They worked Friday on the 
scheme that blocked Hunter's punt...Zook praised his offense and his defense 
for the effort...Ratliff said it felt good to make a big play to help the 
team win. As for special teams Keiwan said coach Zook will get it corrected. 
Rex said the offensive line did a good job and he has really gained a lot of 
confidence in the emerging Carlos Perez. He said he felt they were going to 
win all along. Jason Hunter thought he would get the punt off and did not 
realize the rusher came free up the middle. Earnest Graham said he gets 
better the more he carries and really did not get the opportunities in the 
first half because the passing game was clicking so well. David Jorgensen was 
not happy with being pulled after one series and said he wants an answer for 
it. He was very upset and obviously will take care of this behind closed 
doors.

Up Next:
Ole Miss, who had a bye week and the game is in Oxford, Mississippi.

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