The 14th ranked Gator football team blanked the Kentucky Wildcats 38-0 Saturday afternoon in The Swamp.
Without its starting quarterback, Maxwell Smith, the Kentucky offense was abysmal. The Wildcat offense, which entered the game rated as the number one passing offense in the SEC, was only able to muster up 219 total yards and never came close to the endzone. Kentucky back-up quarterback Morgan Newton, started the game and threw three interceptions in the first half, one of which resulted in an interception return for touchdown. Florida head coach Will Muschamp says the Gator turnovers can be attributed to the coaching of Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Muschamp added he was very pleased with the win and the shutout but he also knows his team still has room to improve.
Florida came into the matchup ranked first in the SEC in average time of posession and continued to build on that stat as it had the ball for more than 37 minutes of the game. Florida’s first offensive drive of the second half lasted nine minutes and three seconds, the team’s longest drive of the season, and resulted in a touchdown which essentially put the game away. Florida sophomore starting quarterback Jeff Driskel talks about the importance of that third quarter drive.
Driskel was 14 of 20 passing against the Wildcats with one touchdown and one interception.
Perhaps the most impressive, and most surprising, stat of the afternoon was Florida’s number of the third down conversions. The Gators began the day ranked second to last in the SEC in third down conversion, but were able to convert on 12 of 17 third down situations against the Wildcats. Driskel says that stat was a result of hard work during last week’s practice.
Florida now has a bye week, but will return to The Swamp on October 6th to take on the second ranked LSU Tigers.