It was over when: Antonio Callaway got free for a 78 yard touchdown late in the first quarter. That made the score 14-0, which was more points than Kentucky would score all day.
Game ball goes to: It’s tempting to give it to freshman tailback LaMical Perine, but I’m handing it out to QB Luke Del Rio- mainly because his performance is such a breath of fresh air after years of frustration at the position. Del Rio lit up the Cats for 320 yards and four touchdowns and while many of his completions came on screen passes, flares and other short routes, he also torched the Kentucky secondary with the aforementioned bomb to Callaway- a deep ball he put right into his teammate’s outstretched hands on a fly pattern. He didn’t quite have a Heisman type performance, but he did more than he needed to in a rout.
Stat of the game: 30. That’s what the Gators’ winning streak over Kentucky is at now. It’s the longest active streak in college football, the fourth longest all time, and the third longest all time against annual opponents.
What to like: Del Rio looked like the real deal today, hitting short, intermediate and deep routes all the same. Del Rio again utilized his check down routes, most notably hitting LaMical Perine in stride for a 28 yard touchdown on a screen pass. Most impressively, he threw his four touchdowns to four different receivers. And just speaking generally, he looked more comfortable out there. Elsewhere, the defense was lights out (149 total yards allowed) and the Gators got some real mileage out of all four running backs today (236 yards and two touchdowns on the ground between Perine, Jordan Scarlett, Jordan Cronkrite and Mark Thompson).
What to work on: The Gators still struggled to pick up the blitz at times, but they were overall much, much, much better than they were in this area a week ago. Eddy Pineiro also had a rough day, missing two of three of the field goals he tried. Then again, the one he made was from 54 yards away, so….
Offensive grade: A-. Call it a combination of Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier opening up the playbook with a better performance against a bad team, but there’s no denying the Gators’ offense clicked today. You don’t gain 564 yards of total offense against any team, no matter how putrid they are, without doing something right.
Defensive grade: A+. Again, it was Kentucky, but the Gators really couldn’t have done anything better than they did. The secondary picked off a trio of passes, and Taven Bryan fell on a fumble that was really self inflicted. The Cats could only muster 149 yards of total offense, and 65 of them came on the last drive of the game when the Gators had fallen asleep due to boredom.
Special teams grade: B. Pineiro missed a couple of kicks, one of them quite badly, but he also blasted one from 54 that probably would have been good from 74. Callaway also had a few nice short runs on punt returns.
Bottom line: Kentucky is a drug. Playing them makes you feel better when you’re sick, but you can’t really know if you’ve gotten better until you play somebody else. So this might have been the rebirth of the Gators’ football team, and I won’t even try to deny this possibility because winning in such humongous fashion feels… just so great, but let’s wait until after the Gators head up Rocky Top to really make some judgments.
|FLORIDA||1st 2:34||Mark Thompson 3 yd run (PAT good)||0||7|
|FLORIDA||1st :37||Antonio Callaway 78 yd pass from Luke Del Rio (PAT good)||0||14|
|FLORIDA||2nd 5:57||Eddy Pineiro 54 yd FG||0||17|
|FLORIDA||2nd :18||Brandon Powell 5 yd pass from Luke Del Rio (PAT good)||0||24|
|FLORIDA||3rd 12:25||Freddie Swain 26 yd pass from Luke Del Rio (PAT good)||0||31|
|FLORIDA||3rd 3:40||Jordan Scarlett 4 yd run (PAT good)||0||38|
|FLORIDA||4th 14:19||LaMical Perine 28 yd pass from Luke Del Rio (PAT good)||0||45|
|KENTUCKY||4th 4:27||JoJo Kemp yard run (PAT good)||7||45|