Recapping Florida's 36-30 win over Kentucky on Saturday night at Gainesville, Fla.
Summary: Florida had outscored UK 104-10 in the first quarter of the previous six meetings so avoiding a poor start was a must for UK. That it did. UK did not score, but maybe its most important drive was its first, when it started at its own 4-yard line. A 24-yard run by Patrick Towles helped UK reach the Gators 47 and flip the field position. Defenses dominated early, then UK's Nate Willis ended Florida's first scoring threat with an interception. UK struggled moving the ball and the Gators finally got on the board, capping an 11-play drive to make it 3-0 with 7:47 left in the half. UK's best offensive series came at the end of the half. A 26-yard completion to Ryan Timmons and a 27-yard hookup with Blake Bone set up a 35-yard field goal by Austin MacGinnis to end the half. There were more punts (11) than points in the half.
Halftime: Kentucky 3, Florida 3.
Thumbs up: The Kentucky defense looked fast, swarmed to the ball and kept the Gators out of the end zone.
Thumbs down: UK had opportunities to grab a lead but was unable to take advantage.
Summary: Towles suffered his first interception of the year on UK's first drive. The Gators had first down at the UK 3 but were held to a field goal and 6-3 lead. An offensive explosion followed. Towles hit freshman Garrett Johnson, who is from Florida, for a 60-yard touchdown pass and UK led Florida 10-6 with 5:32 left in the third quarter. About a minute later Florida scored its first touchdown. The key play was when UK's Fred Tiller's apparent interception bounced off his chest and it turned into a 33-yard Gators gain. It was Johnson again, with a highlight 30-yard catch, then a 33-yard touchdown catch. A 5-play, 74-yard drive put UK back ahead. The Gators marched right back and regained the lead at the end of the third quarter. What looked like a tired UK defense kept it close and UK tied it 20-20 when MacGinnis hit a 51-yard field goal with 3:52 left. Florida missed a potential game-winning 52-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
End of regulation: Kentucky 20, Florida 20
Matt Jones ran in from the 1-yard line in the third overtime to give the Gators the win. UK's MacGinnis had missed a 41-yard field goal just before that. To start the overtime, Stanley "Boom" Williams took a Towles pass, reversed fields and scored on UK's first play. Florida stayed alive with a 9-yard score on fourth down. It appeared the play clock had run out before the ball was snapped. The teams traded field goals and it was 30-30.
Final score: Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (3 OTs)
Thumbs up: Patrick Towles. Despite the interceptions, he showed composure and made big-time throws. UK has found its quarterback.
Thumbs down: An opportunity missed.