Cats’ turnovers costly in 48-10 loss to Florida

Kentucky coach Joker Phillips hopes if the Wildcats learn

anything from their loss to Florida it’s just how painful turnovers

are.

The Wildcats turned it over four times, and each giveaway led to

a score by the Gators, who won 48-10 on Saturday night. It was No.

15 Florida’s 25th straight victory in the series.

”That’s a sloppy football team,” Phillips said of the

Wildcats. ”I’ve got to get this football team to know how

precious, how precious the football is. We’ve had very poor field

position the last couple weeks, and we’ve given the opponents good

field position, and that equals an ‘L’ most of the time.”

The Wildcats managed to frustrate the Gators early on in their

first road game of the season. On the first drive of the game, one

scripted beforehand by offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Florida

went three-and-out for just the fourth time all season, and the

second drive didn’t prove to be much better.

But Kentucky’s first fumble provided the burst of energy Florida

(4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) needed. Josh Clemons lost the

ball on second-and-1 at the Kentucky 45, and John Brantley hit

Gerald Christian on a 45-yard touchdown pass across the middle on

the next play to give the Gators a 7-0 lead with 8:10 in the first

quarter.

The Wildcats (2-2, 0-1) failed to pick up a single yard on their

next possession, and Jeff Demps ran off tackle for 20 yards for the

Gators’ next touchdown, capping a four-play drive that took just

1:23.

Kentucky picked up a first down on its next drive – its first of

the game – but Matt Elam picked off a pass by Morgan Newton at the

Kentucky 46 and returned it 17 yards to the Florida 28. Chris

Rainey ran most of the rest of the way, with Trey Burton polishing

it off with a 1-yard TD run to put the Gators up 21-0 with 3:39 in

the first quarter.

Florida has now outscored the Wildcats 94-3 in the first

quarters of the past four meetings.

Kentucky gave the ball away again in the second quarter, deep in

its own territory. Jonathan Bostic hit Newton as his arm was behind

his head, Newton dropped the ball and Florida’s Jaye Howard grabbed

it, running 2 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-3 with 11:30

remaining in the half.

”We got a couple of stops early, and we had a chance,” Newton

said. ”We moved the ball, but we gave them short fields and

turnovers. A couple of bounces went against us and before we knew

it, we were down 28-3. We just couldn’t get over the hump after

that.”

Newton threw another interception to Michael Taylor, setting up

a 27-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis to give Florida a 41-10 lead

with 3:10 in the third quarter.

The Wildcats managed to make the Gators pay for a mistake of

their own for Kentucky’s lone touchdown. Brantley headed to the

locker room a few minutes before halftime after getting drilled by

Danny Trevathan, the SEC’s leading tackler. On his second play,

backup quarterback Jeff Driskel fumbled the ball as Trevathan hit

him, and Trevathan fell on the ball at the Florida 26.

Newton, who was 16-of-33 for 124 yards with two interceptions,

threw a 19-yard touchdown pass two plays later to La’Rod King with

1:18 before halftime to cut the Gators’ lead to 31-10.

But the Wildcats were too far in the hole at that point, and

couldn’t stop Florida’s speedy running backs in the second

half.

Demps, who won a national title in the 60-meter dash at the 2010

indoor NCAA championships, showed the speed the Gators have become

known for as he raced by defenders for his long touchdown run. It

was Florida’s longest since Emmitt Smith’s 96-yard touchdown run

against Mississippi State in 1988.

Demps finished with 10 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

Rainey added 105 yards for the Gators, who finished with 405 yards

rushing, and Brantley was 8 for 14 for 115 yards and one touchdown.

Florida hosts No. 3 Alabama and travels to No. 2 LSU in the next

two weeks.

Kentucky also couldn’t do much on offense against the Football

Bowl Subdivision’s top run defense, picking up just 134 yards on

the ground. The Gators also entered the game ranked sixth in

scoring defense and seventh in total defense.

”We’ll get a couple of hours to sulk, but then we have to get

ready to go tomorrow,” Newton said. ”We have to get better

tomorrow.”