Rapid Reaction: Slow start, fast finish as Florida offense, Kyle Pitts roll past Kentucky
Kentucky’s plan against Florida worked for a half. UK ran the ball, dominated the time of possession, and kept Kyle Trask and the Gators’ offense off the field. Florida still led 14-10 at intermission, but in the second half, Florida pulled away largely on the strength of another strong game from tight end Kyle Pitts, winning 34-10.
Florida moved to 7-1 via another huge game from Pitts, who caught 3 touchdown passes and proved to be virtually uncoverable for the Wildcats, who fell to 3-6 on the season. Heisman candidate Kyle Trask did nothing to hurt his standing, connecting on a high percentage of passes, but being limited early by a Kentucky offense that hogged the football for most of the first half.
Florida’s offense was alone in providing some fireworks.
Dan Mullen and UF defensive coordinator Todd Grantham had a fiery exchange on the sideline late in that drive, which left UK with a 10-7 lead with 2:13 in the half. The Gators took a 14-10 lead on Kadarius Toney’s 50-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Grantham’s defense picked it immediately in the 2nd half, however.
Kentucky’s next 6 possessions after the sideline dustup resulted in:
- A punt
- An interception that led to a Florida TD
- Another punt
- A turnover on downs
- Another interception that set up a Florida field goal
- Another interception.
By that time, the Gators led 34-10. Trask’s day was done after a 21-for-27 performance for 256 yards and 3 TD passes — all to Pitts.
Kentucky didn’t gain a first down in the 3rd quarter.
Meanwhile, the Gators struck early and often. Trask hit Pitts for a 2 yard score on the opening drive of the second half, extending Florida’s lead to 21-10. After a 34-yard Evan McPherson field goal, Trask went back to work again, finding Pitts from 7 yards out on the duo’s 3rd scoring play of the day.
Florida’s victory all but assured them of the SEC East title. The 7-1 Gators will travel to Knoxville next week to play at 2-5 Tennessee. Kentucky falls to 3-6 with the loss, and will host South Carolina next week to end their regular season.