Football Meets Florida in SEC Home Opener

Fresh off a thrilling road win to open league play at South Carolina, Kentucky seeks to begin the season at 3-0 for the first time since 2010 and chart its first win over Florida since 1986 when it plays host to the Gators in The New Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.

Kentucky
Florida at Kentucky
Sat., Sept. 19 - 7:30 p.m. ET
The New CWS
Lexington, Ky.
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | UF Get Acrobat Reader
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TV: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
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Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff (5:30 p.m.)

UK 2015 Team Stats UF
2-0 Record 2-0
1-0 Conference Record 0-0
33.0 Scoring/game 46.0
417.0 Total offense/game 489.5
192.5 Rushing yards/game 195.0
224.5 Passing yards/game 294.5
26.7 Kickoff returns (avg) 25.5
16.0 Punt returns (avg) 6.0
40.4 Punting (avg) 42.7
27:22 Time of possession/game 34:32
32% Third down conversion 50%
100% Fourth down conversion 100%
27.5 Points allowed/game 18.5
448.0 Total yards allowed/game 266.5
221.0 Rush yards allowed/game 25.5
227.0 Pass yards allowed/game 241
Kentucky improved to 2-0 with its first road win since 2010 (first SEC road win since 2009) in a hard-fought 26-22 win at South Carolina. It marked UK’s first win at South Carolina since 1999.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 24-7 lead at halftime on the strength of a dynamic offensive attack that gathered 307 yards. The Gamecocks rallied in the second half, but a stout UK red-zone defense limited USC to three field goals, before USC pulled to 24-22 and attempted the game-tying two-point conversion. Linebacker Khalid Henderson stopped the conversion and forced a fumble, with Denzil Ware scampering 98 yards for two UK points and a 26-22 lead. Freshman corner Chris Westry - who added a sack and a key pass break-up - then picked off an errant pass to clinch the win.

Cat Scratches: Unbeaten Start Not Affecting UK's Focus

For two years, Mark Stoops wondered what it would be like to fly home after a victory as a head coach. For two years, Stoops challenged his Kentucky team to create that feeling so they could all find out together.

On Saturday, the Wildcats delivered, ending a 22-game road losing streak.

So, what was the verdict on that flight?

“The plane ride was kind of quiet once we got in there and situated and got home,” Stoops said. ... read full story

Series Record vs. Florida

Florida leads the all-time series, 48-17, including a 19-10 mark in games played in Lexington. The Gators have won 28 consecutive meetings in the series with UK’s last win coming in a 10-3 result over the Gators in Lexington in 1986.

Last time vs. Florida

Kentucky and Florida met in a thriller in The Swamp in 2014, a tilt that lasted three overtimes and saw the Gators victorious, 36-30. The Gators used a game-winning touchdown rush from Matt Jones in the third overtime to finish off the win, with UK missing its 41-yard field goal attempt to start the final period. UK had its best chance to win the game after using a Boom Williams rush to set up a TD in the first overtime and forcing the Gators into a fourth and seven TD pass from Jeff Driskel to Demarcus Robinson. Robinson tied the Florida record for catches in a game with 15, going for 216 yards and a pair of TDs. Jones rushed 29 times for 156 yards and a TD. The teams were locked in a 3-3 tie before Patrick Towles connected with Garrett Johnson on a 60-yard TD strike to give UK a 10-6 lead in the third quarter. Austin MacGinnis forced overtime with a 51-yard field goal with 5:10 remaining in regulation. Kentucky got a breakout performance from Towles, who was 24-for-45 with three TDs, and 369 yards passing, adding 22 yards rushing. Johnson went for six catches, 154 yards and two touchdowns. Tailback Braylon Heard rushed 12 times for 39 yards. Defensively, UK had three players with double-digit tackle efforts, including Fred Tiller, Za’Darius Smith and Josh Forrest. Senior Nate Willis had a key interception and 27-yard return and nickelback Blake McClain had three QB hurries.

Scouting Florida

Florida enters Saturday’s matchup at 2-0 with a pair of non-conference wins over New Mexico State and East Carolina. UF has averaged 46 points, 489.5 total yards and 195 rushing yards, allowing only 266.5 opponent yards. The Gators have six players with at least 50 yards rushing, with Kelvin Taylor leading the team with 109 yards and two TDs on 24 carries. Freshman RB Jordan Cronkrite has rushed 14 times for 71 yards and a TD, with J Scarlett totaling a TD on 12 carries for 58 yards. Freshman QB Will Grier is 26-for-35 for 317 yards and four TD, with the lone Florida interception. Sophomore QB Treon Harris has added 55 yards rushing and is 19-for-27 through the air, for 269 yards and two TDs. Demarcus Robinson leads the team with 11 catches, with sophomore TE DeAndre Goolsby owning a club-high 132 yards. Junior LB Jarrad Davis leads the team with 12 tackles, with Joey Ivie owning three sacks.

Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff

Tune in to the UK Sports Network for the “Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff” two hours before every football game. From Cat Walk to Cat Talk, host Christi Thomas and former UK Quarterback Freddie Maggard will focus on the X’s and O’s of the game and bring a little fun to pregame in the first 30 minutes of the show. Afterward, Host Neil Price is joined by Oscar Combs, Dick Gabriel, Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro to continue the official pregame broadcast until kickoff. The show is broadcast in Lexington on 98.1 WBUL & 630 WLAP, UK Radio Network affiliates, online at ukathletics.com, and in the UK Gameday App. For the first time, the two-hour pregame show will be live streamed every home game for fans to watch on ukathletics.com.