Whitley Grades The Gators after 20-13 loss at Kentucky

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
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Gainesville Sun sports columnist David Whitley passes out unit grades for Florida's  contest Saturday vs. Kentucky, a 20-13 loss at Kroger Stadium.

Gators' Offense: D

Thirteen points was the fewest scored since Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville. It’s easy to pinpoint what went wrong — 15 penalties, 13 penalties by the offense. It’s hard to figure out why so much went wrong. Eight false starts? The crowd was loud, but not that loud.

Ten points can also be attributed to a game plan from the 1960s. No deep passes. Ultra-conservative play calling, like punting from the Kentucky 41 and 42-yard lines. Credit Mark Stoops’ defense for a lot of UF’s woes. The Wildcats took it to an offensive line that had been playing surprisingly well. But the Gators’ ineptitude, lack of adjustments and suicidal tendencies were the real difference. It’s hard to score, much less win, when you have more penalties than points.

Whitley: Mullen has a whole new challenge after Kentucky collapse

Gators' Defense: B

Not much to complain about here. The Gators allowed only one big play, a 41-yard wide receiver screen that ultra-dangerous Wan’Dale Robinson turned into a touchdown. Kentucky's other scoring drive was only 29 yards after a UF turnover. That was the only time the defense didn’t bail out the misfiring offense. Holding Chris Rodriguez under 100 yards rushing and Kentucky to 74 passing yards was impressive, especially with cornerback Kaiir Elam out with an injury.

Gators notebook: Elam not available for Kentucky game

Gators' Special Teams: D

Jace Christmann nailed a career-best 51-yard field goal. The kickoff and punt coverages were OK, though Jeremy Crawshaw’s first pooch punt should have been downed inside the 5-yard-line. Two defenders didn’t circle to the goal line to prevent the ball from skittering into the end zone. All that was overshadowed when Josh Paschal burst through the line almost untouched to block a 48-yard field goal attempt. Kentucky ran it back 76 yards for a touchdown. The 10-point swing was almost as devastating as all those false start penalties.

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