The Florida Gators (4-0, 3-0 SEC) extended their perfect season thus far against the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 SEC) Saturday after shutting them out 38-0, making it their 26th straight win in the series.
For the Gators it was the first shutout since defeating UAB 39-0 in week two last year, and the first shutout of an SEC opponent since defeating Mississippi State 52-0 on Sept. 29, 2001.
”Any time you get a shutout, man, those things are hard to come by in this day and age of football, regardless of who you’re playing,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said.
The Gators now head into the bye week with a perfect 4-0 mark and time to heal up before a showdown with LSU on Oct. 6 at the Swamp.
Florida was efficient in all phases of the game, with sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel leading the offense and the Gator defense suffocating Morgan Newton and the Wildcats.
Florida led by just a field goal after the first quarter, but a 21-point second period opened things up for the Gators. A 10-play touchdown drive capped with six consecutive runs for Mike Gillislee began a scoring spree for the Gators.
Kentucky hardly had a chance to win in this one.
The Wildcats, who entered with the league’s top passing attack, played without quarterback Maxwell Smith. He sat out with a shoulder injury. Backup Morgan Newton missed open receivers early and often, diminishing his team’s already slim chance at an upset.
”I think Morgan was throwing it to the right person; we just weren’t very accurate,” Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. ”Again, for us to be successful in this offense, you have to be able to throw and catch, and we weren’t able to do that today.”
Kentucky finished with 60 yards passing.
As the second half began it was more of the same, as Driskel led the Gators on another long drive, this one, however a time-consuming one that ate up a large chunk of the third quarter. The Gators marched 72 yards on 15 plays and took 9:03 off the clock on the drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Driskel.
As the fourth quarter arrived and the game in hand, head coach Will Muschamp called on Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, as the sophomore saw his first action since the week one win over Bowling Green.
Brissett capped a 9-play, 47-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper with 6:47 left to make it 38-0.
Driskel finished the day 18-of-27 passing for 203 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while carrying the ball eight times for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Florida played without versatile fullback Trey Burton, who missed the game with back spasms. He woke up Friday with spasms and couldn’t get them under control before the game.
The Gators also were without defensive tackle Dominique Easley (knee), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb) and cornerback Cody Riggs (foot). Easley and Jenkins are expected to play against the Tigers following a bye week.
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Written by Mackenzie Thirkill