UF's Murphy hot in red zone


Florida Gators quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) runs for a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 in Lexington, Ky. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:20 p.m.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Since taking over for the injured Jeff Driskel in the first quarter of last week’s Tennessee game, junior quarterback Tyler Murphy has done many good things at quarterback for the Gators.

The one thing he seems to excel at is getting the Gators in the end zone when they reach the red zone.

For the second week in a row, the Gators were red-hot in the red zone — a rarity in recent seasons.

In the first half against Kentucky, Murphy and the Gators were 3-for-3 in the red zone, scoring TDs on all three trips.

Murphy was highly efficient in the red zone. He threw a touchdown pass to Trey Burton on one trip and ran for a touchdown on another, helping the Gators build a 21-7 halftime lead.

Murphy and the Gators went up and down the field throughout the first half, rolling up 253 total yards — 133 on the ground and 120 in the air.

In the half, Murphy was a perfect 11-for-11 for 129 yards and a TD.

Burton skins ’Cats again

Trey Burton continues to dog the Wildcats with his ability to find the end zone against them.

Burton caught a touchdown pass in the first half Saturday, raising his career total against UK to eight.

Six of those touchdowns, of course, came in his true freshman season (2010), when he lit up the ’Cats out of the Wildcat formation.

Defense shakes slow start

After giving up chunks of yardage to the Wildcats early in the game, the Florida defense settled down and dominated the rest of the first half.

The defense actually pitched a first-half shutout, and when the Gators needed a play in the closing seconds of the second quarter, the defense responded, stopping UK on a fourth-and-4 from the UF 30.

Gators fall for the fake

The Wildcats gave the Gators a glimpse of what they might see on special teams in a few weeks in Baton Rouge.

In a fake field goal that seemed to come right out of the Les Miles gambling playbook, the Wildcats burned the Gators for a touchdown late in the first quarter.

Lining up for a 42-yard field goal attempt, holder Jared Leet took the snap, then tossed the ball over his head to kicker Joe Mansour, who sprinted untouched to the end zone down the right sideline.

Miles, of course, has burned the Gators a few times with similar fakes over the past few years. He’ll certainly be interested in seeing the tape of UK’s successful gamble.

Hardin keeps starting job

Struggling redshirt freshman place-kicker Austin Hardin obviously did enough in practice this past week to fend off Brad Phillips and hold onto his starting role.

Hardin kicked UF’s first extra point, then came out early in the second quarter to attempt a 53-yard field goal that was well short.

Robinson, Pittman return

Wide receivers Latroy Pittman and Demarcus Robinson returned from their suspensions Saturday night.

Pittman was suspended for the first three games for a violation of team rules. He was wearing No. 9 Saturday instead of the No.13 he wore last season. Robinson was suspended from last week’s Tennessee game for a violation of team rules.

Chucky makes the trip

Star senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who is facing season-ending knee surgery, did not make the trip to Lexington, but his famous (or infamous) Chucky doll did.

In honor of Easley, sophomore defensive end/linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. brought Easley’s Chucky doll with him. Fowler tweeted a picture of Chucky on the team plane on the flight to Lexington on Friday.

With Easley out, Damien Jacobs and Jonathan Bullard started inside at the tackle positions Saturday night. Bullard has played both at end and tackle this season, but may be slotted for more playing time at tackle moving forward.

‘Doering’s got a touchdown’ turns 20

One of the most famous plays (and radio calls) in Florida football history turned 20 years old on Sept. 11.

It was the 28-yard TD strike from Danny Wuerffel to wide receiver Chris Doering with only two seconds remaining that pulled out an improbable 24-21 victory over the Wildcats in Commonwealth Stadium.

The play, of course, drew the now-famous call from the voice of the Gators, Mick Hubert — “Doering’s got a touchdown, Doering’s got a touchdown, Doering’s got a touchdown.”

This is also the 10th anniversary of another great UF moment at Commonwealth Stadium, and another 24-21 victory. In his starting debut for the Gators, quarterback Chris Leak led the Gators to their biggest comeback victory ever on the road in 2003. Leak threw two second-half touchdown passes to lead the Gators back from a 21-3 deficit.

This, that and the other

With Driskel out with a season-ending broken lower right leg, five quarterbacks made the trip for the Gators, including former Gainesville High standout Ryan McGriff, a redshirt sophomore walk-on. The other quarterbacks making the trip and dressing out were Tyler Murphy, Skyler Mornhinweg, Max Staver and Christian Provancha. … Jabari Gorman started Saturday’s game at safety for the Gators ahead of Cody Riggs. ... Every team in the SEC has players from the state of Florida on its roster. Kentucky is no different. The Wildcats have 12 players from the Sunshine State. The Wildcats’ leading rusher is true freshman Jojo Kemp, who is from DeLand, the same school that produced UF 1,000-yard rusher Mike Gillislee. … The Gators have one player from the state of Kentucky — true freshman walk-on defensive back Garrett Stephens, who played at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville. … UF’s 26-game winning streak over Kentucky coming into the game was tied for the sixth-longest in college football history in an uninterrupted series. The longest belongs to Notre Dame, which defeated Navy 43 games in a row (1964-2006). … One of the nation’s most inexperienced teams a year ago, UK’s youth movement has continued this season, with eight true freshmen already seeing playing time. The Wildcats had 11 first-time starters in their season-opening game against Western Kentucky. ... The UF and UK coaching staffs wore Coach to Cure MD patches Saturday night to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research. … UF and UK have met annually since the 1967 season.

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