Meyer: "Best Quarter I've Ever Coached"

It didn't take long for the Florida Gators to return to their dominant form after the ugly win against Tennessee. By the end of the first quarter, the score already looked like a final result of a lopsided game. But it was clear the Gators were out to send a message to the nation with the 31-0 onslaught of the Kentucky Wildcats in the opening quarter.

Everything seemed to be clicking on both sides of the ball, and the only time they could be denied is on the opening drive when the Wildcats managed to hold the Gators to a field goal.

"I think (it was the best quarter I've coached)," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "You take the football on the opening kickoff and take it right down the field and score, then just boom, boom. Then, block the punt. That was really good."

Just from a scoring standpoint it was. The 31 points was the most a team has ever scored in the opening quarter for a team Meyer was the head coach of.

But the key to the game was the defense's return to its championship form. All it took was a reminder of what the unit looked like last season.

"They haven't played the relentless pursuit to the ball. Coach (Charlie) Strong did a great job of showing film from last year and film of this year, and it didn't look the same as far as the team running to the ball, but they did it tonight," Meyer said.

The defense not only prevented Kentucky from a first down in the first quarter it held the Wildcats to minus-1 total yards of offense. That is no typo; the Wildcats were had negative yards after the first quarter.

On offense, it was the run game that the Gators relied on, rushing for 148 yards on 17 carries.

"We ran the ball really, really well. We probably could have kept doing that there," Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said.

The fast start the Gators got out to was unusual for them this season. The 31 points are more than the amount they scored in their first three games combined which only totaled 17.

UF made sure to work on getting out to a quick start this game.

"The past couple of weeks we have been lackadaisical in the first quarter and slow to start. It took us a few plays to get us going today," wide receiver David Nelson said. "We wanted to get out to a fast start this week and take the crowd out of it to get the momentum on our side. We had a great first drive where we had to settle for a field goal."

The special teams unit wasn't to be left out of the fun. After an illegal formation forced the Wildcats to punt again, the Gators took another shot at blocking the punt. This time Chris Rainey broke free in the middle of the line blocking the punt with ease then jumping on it in the end zone for a touchdown.

"It was important for us and Coach Meyer to block a punt this week," Nelson said. "He really wanted it."


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