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Florida Gators 36, Kentucky Wildcats 30: UF Survives in 3OT

The Gators' win streak over Kentucky continues by the slimmest of margins.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators needed three overtimes to squeak by 36-30 and earn their 28th consecutive win over the Kentucky Wildcats.

The first half was a punting fiesta as neither offense was doing all that well. Florida outgained Kentucky by a noticeable margin, and until its final drive, UK's offense had a success rate of just 4.3%. The Wildcats did get a score on its final drive, though, and the game went to the half tied at three apiece.

The offenses woke up after the half as the defenses began to deteriorate. Both sides gave up big plays, especially the Gators' young secondary. Patrick Towles connected with Garrett Johnson on a 60-yard touchdown early on in the third quarter, and UK almost certainly would have won the game if not for three second half interceptions by Towles. The Gators might have won it in regulation too if not for a pair of late missed field goals, including a 52-yarder as time expired.

Kentucky scored on the first play of overtime when Boom Williams took a screen pass, broke tackles, and snaked all over the field for a touchdown. UK nearly had the game put away, but UF snapped a fourth down play with (apparently) .00001 seconds to go on the play clock for a Jeff Driskel touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson. The teams traded field goals in the second overtime, and the Wildcats missed a field goal on the first possession of the third overtime. Will Muschamp then used big Matt Jones as a battering ram, and four rushes later, the game was over.

Robinson tied a school record with 15 receptions, and he had 216 yards and two touchdowns in a breakout performance. Johnson starred on the other side, hauling in six passes for 154 yards and two TDs. Towles had 369 yards and three TDs but three costly interceptions, while Driskel had 295 yards, three TDs, and only one interception. Jones was the only rusher with a great day, going for 154 yards on 29 carries and having that game winning touchdown.

Kentucky is once again headed home to Lexington from Gainesville with a loss, but the teams played each other about as evenly as can be. The Wildcats who lost every conference game over the past two seasons is long gone. Mark Stoops' young guys are good, and they'll only get better with seasoning.

As for the Gators, it's a hard crash back down to earth after the highs of the Eastern Michigan win. The best possible interpretation of the game is that they were still high off of that win and looking ahead to the game in Tuscaloosa next week. I say that because if that's not the case, then there's not really much space between Florida and Kentucky. And if that is the case, then UF will be looking for a new head coach this December.