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(Saturday, September 22nd)
Final Score: (14) Florida 38, Kentucky 0
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Jeff Driskel passed for a score and ran for another, while the Florida defense remained firm, as the No. 14 Gators steamrolled the Kentucky Wildcats, 38-0, at the Swamp.
Driskel performed well once again, throwing for 203 yards on 18-of-27 attempts and rushing for 35 yards on eight tries for the Gators (4-0, 3-0 SEC), who racked up their 26th consecutive win over their conference rivals.
Mike Gillislee ran for 56 yards and a score, Quinton Dunbar hauled in three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown, while Jaylen Watkins returned an interception for another TD.
Morgan Newton struggled throughout as he subbed for starter Maxwell Smith, who did not play due to a shoulder injury. Newton threw three interceptions in the first half and finished 7-of-21 for just 48 yards passing for the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1).
"He wanted to go," said Kentucky coach Joker Phillips regarding his injured quarterback. "I was just not willing to do that to him or our football team. I treat him like one of my kids and I did not want to risk him to get injured and be out for a significant amount of time."
On the Gators' third possession of the game, Driskel's 38-yard run into Wildcat territory helped set up a 27-yard Caleb Sturgis field goal to give the hosts the early lead.
Following a 54-yard miss from Kentucky kicker Craig McIntosh, Gillislee carried six times on the ensuing drive for Florida, punching in a 1-yard touchdown to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter.
Newton was intercepted on Kentucky's next two possessions, his second returned by Watkins for a 26-yard score.
"Anytime you're able to score on defense, that creates a huge momentum swing," said Florida coach Will Muschamp. "We were able to rush four guys just how we wanted to and we were able to create turnovers."
With just over two minutes to play in the half, Driskel completed three straight passes, the last one a 25-yard strike to Jordan Reed, who drew a personal foul penalty on the play to move the Gators inside the Wildcats' 20- yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, Driskel connected with Dunbar for a 19-yard score to give Florida a 24-0 advantage.
The Wildcats started with the football to open the second half but punted after picking up just one first down. Their offense would not see the ball again until just under three minutes remaining in the quarter.
Florida ate up over nine minutes of the clock on its ensuing possession. Driskel went 6-of-7 on drive, capping a 15-play, 72-yard march with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Gators added seven more after back-up quarterback Jacoby Brissett recorded a 1-yard touchdown run to account for the final margin.
Reed, Omarius Hines and Frankie Hammond Jr. each hauled in three passes for Florida ... Jonathan George led Kentucky in rushing with 52 yards ... Florida will head into their bye week before hosting second-ranked LSU on Oct. 6 ... Kentucky will host No. 7 South Carolina next week.
09/22 19:54:20 ET
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