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.
Florida vs. Kentucky Wrap-Up
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