Kentucky Sports

Blue Review: Instant analysis from Kentucky's loss to Florida

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles (14) tackled Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) after throwing an interception during the first quarter as UK hosted Florida at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY. on Saturday September 19, 2015.  Photo by Mark Mahan
Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles (14) tackled Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) after throwing an interception during the first quarter as UK hosted Florida at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY. on Saturday September 19, 2015. Photo by Mark Mahan Herald-Leader

Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 14-9 loss to Florida:

How the game was won

Florida’s defense dominated the game. UF sacked Patrick Towles six times, held Kentucky to 241 yards total offense and set up a Gators touchdown with a Vernon Hargreaves III interception.

Game balls

1. Florida defensive front. The Kentucky running game that dominated the first half at South Carolina was largely stifled by the Gators. As Mark Stoops told UK Radio at halftime, “they are dominating us up front.”

2. Will Grier. Reputed to be a drop-back passer, the Florida redshirt freshman quarterback continually hurt Kentucky with his feet (61 yards rushing) on scrambles.

3. Kentucky defense. The Wildcats "D" was almost as good as Florida’s. UK limited the Gators to 248 yards of total offense, only 63 in second half.

Do-better list

1. Kentucky receivers. While Florida receivers came up big, the Cats had several chances to make tough catches and didn’t. UK’s Dorian Baker dropped a sure touchdown pass on the Cats’ first offensive drive of the game, that didn’t help.

2. Patrick Towles. The Kentucky quarterback did not have great protection and suffered from some drops. But, raising the accuracy questions again, he also missed some throws that were open.

3. The Kentucky football program. Florida was right there to be plucked and the Cats couldn’t do it. Again.

Key number

29. The UK losing streak to Florida now stands at 29.

Fashion report

For the 2015 season’s third game, the Wildcats wore chrome helmets, blue jerseys and gray pants.

Up next

Kentucky will be back in Commonwealth Stadium next Saturday night (ESPN will determine if the game starts at 7 p.m. or 7:30 and which TV channel it will be on) against two-time defending SEC East champion Missouri. Gary Pinkel’s Tigers (3-0) slogged past Connecticut 9-6 Saturday.

Know your foe

1. Since Missouri joined the SEC in 2012, the Tigers are 3-0 against the Cats and have outscored Kentucky 101-37.

2. In two starts against UK, Missouri junior quarterback Maty Mauk has thrown seven touchdown passes with no interceptions. Last year, the 6-foot, 200-pound product of Kenton, Ohio, also ran for 75 yards against the Cats.

3. Going into Saturday’s meeting with UConn, Gary Pinkel’s Tigers were sixth in the nation in total defense, allowing only an average of 209 yards a game in wins over Southeast Missouri State and at Arkansas State. They held UConn to 233 total yards. However, the struggling Mizzou offense amassed only 270 yards vs. the Huskies.

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