‘Twas not to be on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in The Swamp as the Gators put on a show dominating the Wildcats 45-7.
Behind the brilliant play of sophomore quarterback Luke Del Rio, the Gators amassed 564 total yards of offense and the Wildcats never really threatened.
Del Rio passed for 320 yards completing 19 passes in 32 attempts with 4 td’s and 1 interception.
The big play was a beautiful 78 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Callaway on a play action where Del Rio hit him perfectly in stride.
Callaway led all receivers with 5 catches for 129 yards.
The Gators came out running the ball inside early pounding the Kentucky defensive line which gave up over 200 yards last week.
That ability to run inside set up the play action to Callaway and left the Wildcat defense on their heels as the Gators continued to run the ball throughout with great success.
Once again it was a running back by committee approach as the Gators rotated four backs throughout the game.
True freshman Lamical Perine led all Gator rushers with 17 carries for 105 yards helping the Gators to 244 yards rushing overall.
Perine also had one reception for a 28 yard touchdown.
Perhaps the best stat of the day for the Gators offense was their efficient 14-20 (70%) on third down.
Third down, particularly third and long, has been an issue for a while with the Gators offense but behind a calm Del Rio and an offensive line that played much better this week, they made big play after big play and drove the ball repeatedly for long scores.
But it wasn’t all offense in the Swamp on Saturday as the Gator defense completely shut down the Kentucky offense until a late scrub td.
The Gators defense forced four Kentucky turnovers including three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The first interception was a nice snag by cornerback Quincy Wilson who defended the play perfectly and elevated to make the pick, which set up the deep td pass to Calloway.
Not to be outdone, All American corner Teez Tabor jumped a quick throw by Barker making a great play on the ball to come down with the interception.
Safety Marcus Maye grabbed the other INT on an overthrown pass.
The Gators front seven led by LB Alex Anzalone completely dominated the Kentucky line shutting down the Wildcat running game and continuously harassing starting quarterback Barker.
The Gators held the Wildcats to 149 total yards including only 78 until that late scoring drive.
In one of those odd football stats, Kentucky quarterbacks completed as many passes to the Gator defense (3) as it did to Wildcat receivers.
With the win, the Gators continued the nation’s longest consecutive win streak against one opponent now at 30 and the fourth longest in NCAA history.