UK hangs tough, but falls 26-7 to Gators
Rafael Little (shown above) did not make trip
Rafael Little (shown above) did not make trip

Posted Sep 24, 2006

Saturday night’s football game between Florida and Kentucky pitted the SEC’s top ranked offense in yards per game against its worst defense. For the Kentucky Wildcats, this was a disastrous combination. The Gators shredded Kentucky’s defense in the second half, gaining 468 total yards to beat the Wildcats for the 20th consecutive time, 26-7.

On the first possession of the game, Chris Leak got the ball on a double reverse and connected with Jemalle Cornelius on a 34-yard touchdown pass to put the Gators on top 6-0.

Kentucky blocked the extra point and held Florida at bay until Wildcat quarterback Andre Woodson capped off an eight play, 66-yard drive with a play action touchdown pass to running back Maurice Grinter with 1:59 left in the first half. Lones Sieber’s extra point gave Kentucky a 7-6 lead.

But Leak answered, completing five straight passes before handing the football to DeShawn Wynn, who scampered 13 yards for the score with just 22 seconds left. Kentucky would again block the extra point attempt, but Florida would take a 12-7 lead into the locker room.

Though the Wildcats hung close in the first 30 minutes, in the second half Florida simply overwhelmed them.

The Gators opened up their first possession of the third quarter with another touchdown, and from that point on never looked back.

Florida stifled Kentucky’s offense, holding them to just 65 yards after giving up 184 in the first half.

Trailing 19-7, UK had plenty of chances to get back into the game, recovering a fumble and intercepting a pass on defense. But the Gators pass rush was relentless, disabling Woodson’s ability to capitalize on the turnovers.

Leak sealed it in the fourth quarter, hooking up with Cornelius Ingram for his second touchdown of the game to put Florida up by the final score of 26-7.

Woodson, who entered Saturday’s game ranked second in the NCAA in touchdown passes and 12th in passer rating, finished the evening 26-38 with 208 yards and one touchdown pass.

Florida (4-0, 2-0) avoided a potential letdown, even though they are getting ready for their toughest challenge of the season. Over the next four games, they will play Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia.

Kentucky (2-2, 1-1) will look to get back over .500 when they play Central Michigan next Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

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