Demarcus Robinson went beast mode with 15 catches for 216 yards and 2 TDs and the defense dodged some near-fatal bullets as the Gators – somehow – found a way to edge Kentucky, 36-30 in a triple overtime thriller.
Wildcats running back JoJo Kemp had some rather confident comments for the media earlier in the week, saying “It’s going to be fun walking out with a victory and rubbing it in their faces.” Credit to Mark Stoops’ troops, because they came to play. It seemed like it all the makings of a streak-breaking stunner in The Swamp. On a night when so many things seemingly went UK’s way – dropped interceptions by Florida (at least five), penalty calls (and no-calls) and a 51 yard game tying field goal that banked in off the inside of the upright – the Gators refused to yell uncle. As I’m writing this, there were so many weird/awesome/lucky plays that keep coming to my mind:
- Florida realistically could have had six interceptions off Patrick Towles. Vernon Hargreaves dropped two (?!?!?!!!?!?), from what I recall.
- The ridiculous busted coverage by the Gators secondary that led to a wide-open TD for Kentucky.
- The pass that Jeff Driskel threw right to Wildcat corner Fred Tiller who somehow didn’t catch it, then deflected perfectly into the hands of Demarcus Robinson.
- I’m still baffled as to how the ridiculously blatant late hit on Kelvin Taylor wasn’t called a penalty.
- The very first play of overtime: The Florida defense had Stanley Williams dead to rights in the backfield, but a couple missed tackles allowed Williams to reverse the entire field and score a touchdown. You could hear a pin drop after that.
- The play of the game, obviously, was Driskel to Robinson on 4th The Gators had no timeout to use and were scrambling to get to the line, but somehow they got the snap off and Driskel made (by far) his best throw of the night.
- Brian Poole’s GREAT pass break up in the corner of the end zone on 3rd down in the 3rd overtime period, right before the missed field goal by Austin MacGinnis.
- That missed field goal from MacGinnis. Wide right!
The first 30 minutes of this game were a slugfest; the score was 3-3 at the half. The 3rd quarter, on the other hand, was wrought with nonsense and plenty of offense – a combined 31 points before “We Are The Boys.” The 4th quarter? Two Keanu Neal interceptions, two missed field goals by UF (one apiece from Hardin and Velez) and three total points. The overtime session produced an array of emotions so rangy, you might as well have been watching an episode of “Breaking Bad.” But in the end, it was jubilation for the Orange and Blue when Matt Jones punched it in the end zone for the walk-off win.
Plenty of Gator fans were griping both during and after the game about the victory. With the current state of Florida football, I understand people’s concern. Florida had defeated Kentucky in 27 straight contests (now 28) and we almost saw that go down the drain on Saturday night. Was it a pretty win? Certainly not. But it was a win nonetheless, and an SEC victory too. The Gators are still 2-0. And you should be content with that. We will see what these boys are truly made of next Saturday in Tuscaloosa.