Head Coach of the Florida Gators Billy Napier watches his team during the warmup of the Gators game against McNeese State at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday night, Sept. 9, 2023. The Gators beat McNeese State 49-7. (Ethan Goddard/WUFT News)

Kentucky Defeats No. 22 Florida, 33-14

The Kentucky Wildcats defeated visiting Florida, 33-14, Saturday for the third consecutive season.

Kentucky (5-0, 2-0 SEC) dominated from the start behind the running of Ray Davis.

Historic Day for Ray Davis

Davis was unstoppable Saturday, running 26 times for 280 yards and scoring four touchdowns. The star runner still managed to find the end zone even with 13 players on the field.


Early in the third quarter, Davis punched in a 2-yard touchdown run against an extra-man Gators defense to give the Wildcats a 30-7 lead. The Vanderbilt transfer scored three touchdowns and rushed 255 yards on 19 carries by the end of the second quarter, putting him close to the program and SEC records.

His other touchdown came on a 9-yard catch. After this game, Davis might have all but completed a 1,000-yard season in rushing. With this performance against the Florida Gators, the Kentucky tailback showed why he is one of the best in the SEC.


Florida’s Flaws

The Kentucky defense faced a big challenge in stopping Florida’s rushing attack heading into this game. But, Kentucky responded. With only 69 yards on the ground, the Gators averaged 2.4 yards per carry.

The first half saw two Kentucky touchdowns as a result of two Florida mistakes. Kentucky linebacker Trevin Wallace picked off a Graham Mertz pass when tight end Arlis Boardingham bobbled it into Wallace’s hands to set up the Wildcats at the UF 15.

On the Kentucky punt, with 23 seconds left in the quarter and Florida still down 10-0, freshman Dijon Johnson leaped to attempt to block the boot, a personal foul penalty.

During their first offensive possession, the Gators went three-and-out and gained just 39 yards. Just before halftime, Florida cut Kentucky’s lead to 23-7 when Mertz connected with tight end Hayden Hansen on a 4-yard TD pass.


Up Next

Florida (3-2, 1-1) hosts Vanderbilt next Saturday at 4 p.m. for Homecoming Weekend.

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