UK FOOTBALL | Cats lost to Florida, but the season's FAR from over
09/21/2015 06:01 PM
LEXINGTON — 29 games, 29 losses for the Kentucky Wildcats against the Florida Gators.
Despite all the hype leading up to the game — Kentucky’s 2-0 start, a record-breaking road win at South Carolina — the Wildcats fell flat on the field against the Gators, losing a 14-9 heartbreaker on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium to extend its never-ending Florida losing streak to 29 games.
Big Blue Nation flooded social media after the game with its angers and frustrations with the outcome, but despite the negatives (and there were plenty), the Wildcats did flash some positive signs that should instill confidence in their chances to improve and still have a bowl-eligible season:
1. Defense Went Next-Level
For the third consecutive week, the offense stalled for long stretches. And for the third consecutive week, the defense responded to keep the Wildcats in the game.
Florida arrived in Lexington averaging 46 points and 489.5 yards per game through the first two weeks of the season. The Kentucky defense held the Gators to 14 points and 245 yards of total offense.
That’s pretty dang good, especially considering some of the tough spots in which the Wildcats’ stagnant offense left its defense.
2. Boom Williams Is Still REALLY Good
Speaking of which, on an offense that looked dark and gloomy, Stanley “Boom” Williams was a ray of hope.
The sophomore running back juked, spun, and sprinted his way to making creme brulee out of his Swiss cheese offensive line for a game-high 80 yards on 16 carries.
Williams has cemented his place as UK’s No. 1 back and provides and explosive counterpunch to the passing game … if only the wide receivers could catch the ball.
3. Mistakes Aside, Kentucky Had a Chance to Win
And despite all the mistakes and missed opportunities, Kentucky STILL had a chance to win the game in the final minutes. In previous seasons, such an anemic performance by the offense would have resulted in 20, 30, and even 40-point blowout loses for the Wildcats — not the case in 2015.
A late touchdown drive worked against Louisiana Lafayette, not against Florida, and the Wildcats certainly won’t be able to rely on late-game heroics against the other top contenders in the SEC East.
Kentucky has plenty to work on before two-time defending East Division champion Missouri comes to town on Saturday, but all hope is not lost for Kentucky, and the ultimate goal of making a bowl game is still very much in tact.
Click below to watch KSTV’s reaction and analysis to Kentucky’s loss to Florida and what it means for the rest of the season: