LIVE UPDATES! Kentucky Wildcats upset Florida Gators

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No. 23 Kentucky used big plays to upset penalty-prone Florida 20-13 on Satuday for the first time at home since 1986.

Kentucky is off to its best start since beginning 5-0 in 2018, a breakthrough season boosted by its road upset of the Gators that snapped a 31-game series losing streak. 

No. 9 Florida had won 34 in 35 meetings. Now it's 2-2 in the last four matchups between the SEC East rivals. 

The Wildcats are now 3-0 in the SEC, while the Gators fall to 3-2, 1-2, with a lot of work to do to get back in the East race.

The Gators were penalized 15 times for 115 yards, eight of them false starts. UK was penalized just four times for 30 yards.

Trevin Wallace returned a blocked field goal 76 yards for the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter, Chris Rodriguez Jr. had a 9-yard scoring run early in the fourth and Kentucky made a final defensive stand to hold off Florida.

Kentucky 20, No. 10 Florida 13

Florida            7  3  0   3—13

Kentucky        7   0  6  7—20

First Quarter

FLA_Fraziars 7 pass from E.Jones (Christmann kick), 7:57.

UK_W.Robinson 41 pass from Levis (Ruffolo kick), 5:19.

Second Quarter

FLA_FG Christmann 51, 5:32.

Third Quarter

UK_Wallace 78 blocked field goal return (kick failed), 6:36.

Fourth Quarter

UK_C.Rodriguez 9 run (Ruffolo kick), 11:32.

FLA_FG Christmann 33, 6:23.

                                                        FLA    UK

First downs                                       23     13

Total Net Yards                                382     224

Rushes-yards                                 39-171   30-137

Passing                                             211      87

Punt Returns                                   1-13     1-6

Kickoff Returns                                  0-0    1-25

Interceptions Ret.                               1-42   1-20

Comp-Att-Int                                 24-32-1       7-17-1

Sacked-Yards Lost                          0-0           2-13

Punts                                                 5-42.8    6-42.5

Fumbles-Lost                                         0-0     0-0

Penalties-Yards                                  15-115    4-30

Time of Possession                              39:54    20:06

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_Florida, Jones 13-63, Pierce 8-54, Richardson 5-25, Davis 8-22, Wright 5-7. Kentucky, C.Rodriguez 19-99, Levis 6-21, Smoke 4-17, (Team) 1-0.

PASSING_Florida, Jones 23-31-1-203, Richardson 1-1-0-8. Kentucky, Levis 7-17-1-87.

RECEIVING_Florida, Copeland 6-59, Whittemore 4-36, Wright 3-26, Shorter 3-19, Henderson 2-31, Gamble 2-13, Wells 1-9, Pierce 1-8, Fraziars 1-7, Davis 1-3. Kentucky, W.Robinson 4-65, Ali 1-15, Bates 1-11, McClain 1-(minus 4).

MISSED FIELD GOALS_Florida, Christmann 48.

Florida wide receiver Rick Wells (12) celebrates with teammates after defeating Tennessee in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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5:59 p.m. | Kaiir Elam not playing

Starting cornerback Kaiir Elam, who coach Dan Mullen listed as probable to play after suffering a knee injury two weeks ago, will miss his second consecutive game.

FIRST QUARTER

6:22 p.m. | Gators score first

Emory Jones connects with receiver Ja'Quavion Fraziars for a 7-yard TD pass at the 7:57 mark.

7:03 p.m. | Gators' first-quarter analysis

What went right: Florida’s second offensive series. After punting on their opening possession, the Gators marched 75 yards in seven plays to take a 7-0 lead. The drive included a pair of 13-yard runs from Dameon Pierce and the return of backup quarterback Anthony Richardson, who rushed for 11 yards. Starter Emory Jones threw back-to-back completions to Xzavier Henderson and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Quavion Fraziars, his first career score. 

What went wrong: The second defensive possession. UF forced a three-and-out to start the game, but the Wildcats responded to the touchdown deficit with a 75-yard scoring drive of their own. Kentucky grad transfer quarterback Will Levis started it off with a 15-yard pass to Josh Ali and then hooked up with Wan’Dale Robinson for a 41-yard touchdown. 

Play of the quarter: Robinson’s TD catch-and-run, which showed why he leads the SEC in receiving yards. 

Trending: Jones, who completed seven of his eight pass attempts for 78 yards and a touchdown. 

— Zach Abolverdi

Kentucky QB Will Levis

7:44 p.m. | Gators' second-quarter analysis

What went right: Florida’s third-down defense and second-to-last possession. The Gators forced two more punts in the second quarter and held the Wildcats to 0-for-4 on third down in the half, including a third-down sack from Zach Carter. After back-to-back three-and-outs by the UF offense, Jones led the unit on a 11-play, 55-yard drive and Jace Christmann gave the Gators a 10-7 lead with a 51-yard field goal, tying his career long. 

What went wrong: Florida’s final series of the half. After Carter’s sack, the Gators got the ball back at their own 13-yard line with all three timeouts. But instead of having Jones run the two-minute offense, UF coach Dan Mullen was apparently content with the lead and let the clock run out with two carries by Malik Davis. 

Play of the quarter: Nay’Quan Wright’s 16-yard diving catch on third-and-4 from the 50, leading to Christmann’s field goal. 

Trending: Jones, who threw for 101 yards and a touchdown on 10 of 11 passing and rushed for 14 yards.

— Zach Abolverdi

8:50 p.m. | Gators' third-quarter analysis

What went right: Not much for the Gators. All three UF drives ended in the special teams’ unit trotting out to the field, but more of that in a second. 

What went wrong: In short, a lot. Florida’s offense got inside Kentucky territory on the first drive of the third quarter, only for the drive to stall out, leading to a Jeremy Crawshaw punt that went just 20 yards. On the second drive, the Gators attempted a 48-yard field goal, but the Wildcats blocked it and Trevin Wallace returned it 76 yards to put Kentucky in front. Florida also committed five costly penalties, which was arguably the story of the night – UF kept finding ways to shoot itself in the foot. 

Play of the quarter: It’s Wallace’s game-changing return. The field-flipping score gave Kentucky the lead and the momentum – a huge factor after the Wildcats spent much of the first half playing with a chip on their shoulder. 

Trending: Florida looks to find a way to regain the lead, though UF hasn’t displayed much that would indicate a comeback is in the cards after totaling just 55 yards of offense in the third quarter.

— Graham Hall

9:38 p.m. | Gators' fourth-quarter analysis

What went right: Call it an afterthought or a “moral victory”, but Jace Christmann’s 33-yard field goal did get the Gators on the scoreboard in the second half and, more importantly, it gave the Gators a chance to tie or win the game in the closing minutes. 

What went wrong: More inexcusable penalties for Florida would ultimately tell the story. UF was flagged four more times in the fourth quarter, including twice on the decisive final drive. Ultimately the Gators couldn’t find the end zone in the second half despite leading at the midpoint, and as a result the Wildcats came away with their first win in Lexington over the Gators in 35 years. 

Play of the quarter: Jacquez Jones’ break-up on 4th-and-goal from the Kentucky eight-yard line put to rest any hopes the Gators had of escaping defeat. 

— Graham Hall

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