LEXINGTON, Ky. — Florida made an early mistake. Felipe Franks had a lot of time to throw and when he did he went for the endzone. He didn't see UK's Tyrell Ajian and it was intercepted.
In came Sawyer Smith for his first possession as UK's starting quarterback. He ran on the first play for a few yards, had a short flip pass to Lynn Bowden and on the third play he fumbled it on the snap and Florida recovered.
It took the Gators 8 plays to go 31 yards and score on a Franks pass to Freddie Swain, who was wide open for the 15 yard score.7-0 Gators.
Kentucky responded with a a 12 play drive that carried over into the second half. It ended with Smith throwing deep to Ahmad Wagner. The ball was tipped and as Wagner was going to the ground he found the ball and make the catch as he was hitting the ground. The 26 yard pass and catch tied the game at 7.
The UK defense created the next opportunity. As Felipe Franks was looking to pass, Kordell Looney forced a fumble and Taj Dodson fell on it to put the Wildcats in business.
Kentucky went 54 yards in 11 plays. Kavosiey Smoke saw his first action gaining 28 yards on 6 carries with the final one getting UK to the 1. Smith took it in on the quarterback keeper. UK took a 14-7 lead.
Florida would make another long drive but DeAndre Square made a big tackle to keep the Gators short of the sticks, 4th and 1. Evan McPherson would miss a 27 yard field goal with 2:37 to go in the 2nd quarter and UK maintained its lead.
UK would take a 14-7 lead into the half. Sawyer Smith was 10-13 for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Kentucky started the second half with the ball and drove deep into Florida territory when Sawyer Smith was intercepted. He would make the tackle and come off the field holding his right arm still. Smith could be seen getting treatment on the sidelines.
Florida would hurt itself with a pass interference call that pushed them back and they'd eventually have to settle for a 32 yard Evan McPherson field goal. UK held onto its lead but it was cut to 14-10.
Kentucky put another great drive together as Kavosiey Smoke picked up 16 yards on a carry. Then, Smith hit Wagner for another nice catch as he went high for a 21 yard gain. Finally, Smith went to the end zone to find tight end, Keaton Upshaw for the 13 yard touchdown and Kentucky would take a 21-10 lead.
The UK defense again went to work. Stopping Felipe Franks on a 3rd and 2 a yard short of the 1st down. The Gators went for it on 4th down and Franks was stopped again but he appeared to suffer an injury to his right leg or ankle. He was carted off the field.
Kentucky got its possession across midfield but they also went for it on 4th and 1 and came up short. A.J. Rose took the snap in the Wildcat offense and was easily stopped short of the first down marker.
Kyle Trask came in to run the Florida offense in the absence of Franks. He completed his first two passes to get into UK territory. He threw it twice more to get inside the UK 10 yard line. Trask was looking to run but tossed back on the option to Lamical Perine for the 8 yard touchdown. The Gators went for a two point conversion but failed and the UK lead was down to 21-16.
UK was unable to move the ball but Max Duffy used a long, 63 yard punt to pin Florida to its own 4 yard line. Florida started moving it thanks to pinpoint passing from Trask for 13 yards, 8 yards and 20 yards. But, the UK defense came up with big stops including Kordell Looney knocking down a pass, Kash Daniel almost intercepting another and Jamari Brown made a big tackle on 3rd down to force a punt.
Kentucky had run the clock down to 6:05 but Smith was intercepted for the 2nd time in the game by Shawn Davis. Florida went on offense. Trask again went to work. He was sacked but T.J. Carter was called for a targeting and ejected from the game. Trask then hit Kyle Pitt for a 30 yard gain. Trask would take it in from four yards out for the touchdown. Trask was stopped on the two point conversion. So, the Gators had the lead but it was only 22-21.
Kentucky started the drive with 4:11 to go in the game. Smoke picked up 8 yards. Ahmad Wagner picked up another pass interference call on Florida. Then, Smith hit Bowden for a 21 yard gain. The Wildcats got it down to the 17 yard line and had to settle for a Chance Poore field goal from 34 yards out. He missed it wide right with :54 seconds left.
The Gators added a 76 yard touchdown from Josh Howard to take a 29-21 lead with :33 left in the game.
Florida would run the clock out to hold off Kentucky 29-21. The Wildcats drop to 2-1 on the season, 0-1 in the SEC. Next up is a trip to Mississippi State next Saturday for a 4:00 kickoff.