For all intents and purposes, Saturday should have been the day. It should have been the day when Kentucky — poor, hard-luck Kentucky — exorcised the final demon on its list — a 28-year losing streak to Florida.

It certainly made sense, given Florida’s status (struggling to find itself under a first-year head coach), Kentucky’s rise (relatively speaking, anyway), last year’s near-miss (an overtime loss in Gainesville) and this year’s location (Lexington). Saturday should have been the day.

But life ain’t fair, and Florida made more plays, and now the losing streak stands at 29 seasons after a 14-9 Gators victory.

Same old story.


  • How narrow is the margin between victory and defeat in this league? As narrow as a dropped touchdown by sophomore Dorian Baker, which turned around almost immediately when Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted quarterback Patrick Towles and set up the Gators’ first score. As narrow as a near-interception of Florida QB Will Grier that wasn’t (neither the back nor the defender appeared to see the ball) that might have turned into a game-winning pick-six. I’m telling you guys, life ain’t fair.
  • Florida’s defense is really good, but Kentucky didn’t do much to help itself. In his postgame lament, head coach Mark Stoops kept using the word “clean” to describe what was missing from the Wildcats’ performance Saturday night, and it is hard to argue — UK was penalized only 5 times for 37 yards, but they seemed to come at the worst times, and the Gators sacked Towles 6 times for a total of 50 yards lost.
  • Does Kentucky rally? While we tend to expect these kids to be soulless automatons at times, the fact is these are mostly 19- and 20-year-old young adults, and the emotional letdown from a loss like this one has the tendency to make the entire season go sideways. Small wonder, then, that Stoops exhorted the fans to stay with the team afterward.


Offense: (D) — To be fair, Florida’s defense is very good, entering the game as one of the best in the league statistically. Too much of the social media criticism fell on Towles, who admittedly wasn’t great but suffered behind an offensive line that was overmatched. The one credit I can give the Wildcats — the reason this isn’t an F — is they kept fighting, even converting fourth downs twice when a turnover likely meant the end of the game.

Defense: (B+) — This unit kept the Cats in the game with a massive interception in its own end zone in the third quarter, when hope was basically lost (I wrote in my notebook that the game was 2 yards away from ending). They missed an A because they couldn’t keep Will Grier in the pocket when they needed — like, say, on the fourth-down that became the Gators’ first TD — and they yielded a back-breaking drive right before halftime that turned out to be the difference.

Special Teams: (B) — UK didn’t do anything spectacular here, but did its job. Specifically, kicker Austin MacGinnis nailed a pressure-filled kick to draw within 14-9 in the fourth quarter from 45 yards out. Sounds simple, but a number of teams would give anything for someone who can make that type of pressure kick.

Coaching: (C-) — Evaluating coaching after a game like this is always difficult. Kentucky’s offense looked overmatched at times against the Gators’ front seven — which isn’t Mark Stoops’ fault — but they didn’t exactly “scheme them up” in the second half either. Also, why exactly did Stoops sit on his timeouts in the fourth quarter? Does he get to redeem those at the end of the year?


The biggest critique that a fan could have here is that the Wildcats never really went for broke — they mostly played a conservative plan on both sides, presumably thinking they could match Florida straight up. That didn’t happen.


  • RB Stanley “Boom” Williams: 16 carries, 80 yards
  • Farrington Huguenin: 7 tackles, 1 TFL
  • Austin MacGinnis: 3 FGs


  • Regie Meant briefly left Saturday’s game with an injured shoulder, but appeared to return. He finished with a sack and 4 tackles.