Gators control game

Quarters breakdown: UF whips UK

Florida Gators running back Matt Jones (24) points into the crowd as he scores a touchdown past Kentucky Wildcats safety Ashely Lowery (5) 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 10:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 10:12 p.m.

First quarter

Play of the quarter: After Florida drove the ball down the field for a score on its first possession, Kentucky put together a nice drive that stalled at the UF 25. The Wildcats set up for a 42-yard field goal, but holder Jared Leet flipped the ball over his head to kicker Joe Mansour. Florida was fooled on the play and Mansour streaked down the right sideline for the score with 1:46 remaining in the quarter.

Stat of the quarter: After missing last week's game due to a suspension, true freshman Demarcus Robinson had the first catch of his UF career. It was a 10-yard catch on a third-and-10 to keep Florida's scoring drive alive. Robinson was targeted three times in the first two games, but none of them were on target.

Trending: Florida came into the game converting only 48.9 percent on third downs, but the Gators were 3-for-3 on their first drive of the game. In addition to Robinson's catch, Tyler Murphy hit Trey Burton on a third-and-2 and Florida's touchdown came on a third down.

Scoring: Matt Jones got the Gators started with a 2-yard run for a score. Florida was having trouble getting the right number of players in and called a timeout before Jones went around left end on a counter play. Mansour's run on the fake field goal made it 7-7 after one quarter.

Second quarter

Play of the quarter: Jones took a simple handoff, found open field to his left and started to dart up the sideline. There was only one Kentucky defender between him and a 79-yard touchdown so he cut to the middle of the field. There, he was tackled … by teammate Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar was trying to get between Jones and the defender but ended up tripping the running back from behind. The 67-yarder still set up a Gator touchdown.

Stat of the quarter: Murphy completed all four of the passes he attempted for 46 yards. That meant that in the first half Murphy was 11-of-11. He finished the half with 120 passing yards.

Trending: After last week's comedy of errors where every play seemed to be another turnover, neither team committed one in the first half.

Scoring: Austin Hardin was well short on a 53-yard field goal attempt early in the quarter. Murphy threw a laser to Burton from nine yards out two plays after Jones' 67-yard run to make it 14-7. Murphy scored from five yards out on a third-and-four play on Florida's next possession to make it 21-7.

Third quarter

Play of the quarter: After Murphy threw an interception that looked an awful lot like Tennessee's pick-six last week, the Wildcats had the ball at the UF 37. Kentucky got one first down, but on second-and-21 from the UF 33, Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith tried to pick on freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Bad move. Hargreaves found the ball at the top of his leap in the end zone for his third interception of the year.

Stat of the quarter: Florida continues to be awfully good in the middle of games. In the second and third quarters through four games, Florida has allowed only nine points. The Gators shut out Kentucky in the third quarter and allowed only 59 yards in the second and third quarters.

Trending: With a two-touchdown lead, the Gators made a commitment to grinding out the third quarter. They ran the ball 13 times compared to only six passes.

Scoring: There was no scoring even though three of the four possessions by the two teams reached their opponent's territory.

Fourth quarter

Play of the quarter: Austin Hardin's 33-yard field goal have Florida a three-score lead and allowed them to play soft zone defense on Kentucky's next drive. It also sent many in the crowd home early. Florida's defense wasn't giving up three scores in the final 10:49.

Stat of the quarter: Once Kentucky was committed to throwing the ball in the fourth quarter, it was Dante Fowler Jr. time. The hybrid linebacker/end had a pair of sacks totaling 18 yards to kill Kentucky's drive into Florida territory. Fowler now has three sacks for the year.

Trending: The ultimate trend is Florida over Kentucky. It's an amazing streak because there are so many upsets in college football. But Saturday night made it 27 straight for the Gators over the Wildcats. It's the second-longest active streak in college football.

Scoring: Hardin's field goal was the only score. Hardin is now 4-of-7 on field goal attempts this season.

Final score: Florida 24, Kentucky 7

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