Prior to Saturday’s game against Florida, I provided you with five things that the Wildcats had to do to pull the upset. They lost 38-0 as Morgan Newton struggled monumentally. Let’s take a look and see how they fared with the five keys.
Avoid the slow start
Avoiding the slow start was there to be had. They held Florida to three-and-out on their first two possessions. They were running the ball at will. They were standing toe-to-toe with the Gators. But, they simply could not throw the football. Still, they trailed only 3-0 after the first, but then the Gators scored 17 points in the second quarter to put the game away. UK is still without a first quarter touchdown since November of 2010 and have yet to score in the first quarter this year.
Don’t turn it over
I don’t really need to expand on this one, do I? Morgan Newton turned it over three times. Once for a score.
Find a way to stop the run
I thought this would be the most difficult of all the keys. UK had struggled stopping the run in all three of their previous games and in the history of the rivalry have been torched by Florida’s ground attack including last year’s 400-yard outburst against the Cats. I thought for the most part that Kentucky did a pretty good job of defending the run. Mike Gillislee rushed for just 59 yards and the Gators ended up with 200 yards, but most of that came when the game was well decided.
Make big plays
It’s hard to make big plays when you can’t throw it. Unfortunately when the Cats were on offense the big plays were made by the Florida defense.
They came out playing hard, but once they realized they couldn’t move the football with Newton at quarterback, I thought a lot of players quit. The body language just wasn’t good at all. Even in the third quarter, I thought it appeared that the players were counting down the clock and just waiting to get the hell out of dodge. I understand the frustration, but that is not a good sign.
Kentucky has now been outscored 238-36 in their last five games against Florida. Ouch.
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