UK VS. FLORIDA | The streak continues, Wildcats lose 14-9 to Florida
09/19/2015 09:42 PM
LEXINGTON — Mistakes and missed opportunities plagued the Kentucky Wildcats in a 14-9 loss to the Florida Gators on Saturday night at a sold-out Commonwealth Stadium.
It’s the Wildcats’ 29th consecutive loss to the Gators, dating all the way back to 1986.
Penalties and turnovers stalled the Kentucky (2-1, 1-1 SEC) offense all night as the Wildcats could only muster 226 yards of total offense without reaching the endzone for the first time this season.
But the Wildcats still had a chance to steal the victory late in the game.
Driving in the final minute down 14-9 with a chance to take the lead, UK wide receiver Jeff Badet dropped what would have been a first down near midfield, and quarterback Patrick Towles took a sack the following play to force a 4th-and-22 at the Kentucky 35-yard line.
Wide receiver Ryan Timmons fell down on the following Hail Mary attempt, and Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) intercepted the ball and kneeled out the clock to keep its historic winning streak against the Wildcats alive.
It’s the second consecutive year Kentucky has started the season 2-0 before losing to Florida in Week 3.
Towels finished the game 8-24 for 126 yards and two interceptions. The redshirt juniors’ 33% completion percentage for the game is his worst as a starter at Kentucky.
Freshman Florida quarterback Will Grier also struggled at times, completing 13-22 passes for 125 yards and one interception, but he made up for his throwing miscues with is feet, rushing for another 61 yards and a first quarter touchdown to score the opening points of the game.
But oh, how things could have (and should have) started much differently.
After forcing a Florida punt the first possession of the game, Baker dropped what would have been a 42-yard touchdown pass from Towles in the endzone before a second pass slipped through Baker’s hands two plays later, resulting in a Florida interception return all the way to the Kentucky 10-yard line.
Towels himself made the tackle to prevent a pick-six, but Grier converted and 4th-and-goal scramble from the 1-yard line a few plays later to flip what could have been a 7-0 lead for the Wildcats to a 7-0 lead for the Gators.
Sophomore kicker Austin MacGinnis scored Kentucky’s only points of the night, converting a perfect 3-3 of his attempts from 45, 29, and 22 yards, respectively.
The Wildcats don’t have long to get over the difficult loss. Next up is two-time defending SEC East champion Missouri next Saturday (Sept. 26) at Commonwealth Stadium.