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Kyle Pitts is back: Florida Gators TE makes immediate impact vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun
Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) and receiver Ladarius Toney (1) celebrate after Pitts scored a touchdown during a football game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Nov. 28, 2020.   [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Kyle Pitts’ return to the field after two weeks away was much anticipated, and it didn’t take long for the junior tight end to validate the hype once again.

After a fake punt gave Florida the first down, Pitts put a move on sophomore defensive back Kelvin Joseph, a former five-star prospect, and began streaking downfield. Kyle Trask found him, as he’s done so often this season, and the result was a 56-yard touchdown by Pitts to give UF the early 7-0 lead. 

It wasn’t a surprise to see Florida go to Pitts from the jump, but the Wildcats didn’t exactly help themselves in the buildup to kickoff. Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver stopped short of saying the Wildcats would lock up Pitts, proclaiming the tight end had yet to face a player of his caliber this season. 

“Kyle Pitts is most definitely going to see me this week,” Weaver said. “We’ve just got to be more physical than him... He is a great player. He’s going to get up and jump, but he’s just never had J.J. Weaver on him before."

More:Kyle Pitts returns to a Florida Gators receiver group that is deeper than when he left

While that may still technically be true, as Weaver wasn’t in coverage on the play, it didn’t stop Pitts from opening the scoring on UF’s first drive.

The 6-1 Gators are coming off a 38-17 rout of winless Vanderbilt. Quarterback Kyle Trask continues to impress and is in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy, having thrown for 31 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions this season. Against Vandy, Trask threw for three scores. 

Meanwhile, the 3-5 Wildcats are trying to bounce back following a 63-3 drubbing at the hands of Alabama. Kentucky was outgained 509-179 in the rout.