The Florida Gators (3-1) defeated the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3) for the 27th straight time Saturday night to the tune of a 24-7 victory in Lexington.
Behind a breakout performance from sophomore running back Matt Jones and another solid performance from redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy, who was making his first career start, the Gators easily disposed of the Wildcats.
Jones was clearly the star of the game. With his starting status in question, due to two fumbles in his first two games back from injury, Jones rose to the occasion in a big way, rushing for a career-high 176 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries. His 176 yards rushing was more than Kentucky’s offense was able to generate the entire game (173 yards).
Meanwhile, Murphy proved he was more than just a one-hit wonder after his strong debut against the Tennessee Volunteers. He completed his first 11 passes of the game and accounted for two total touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air. He finished 15-of-18 for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception, although the game was already out of reach by the time he threw the pick. He also added 36 yards rushing on seven carries and one touchdown.
The win marked yet another dominating performance by the Gator defense. Florida held Kentucky to just 173 yards of total offense, including just 48 yards rushing, both well below Kentucky’s season averages. The Wildcats were also just 1-for-8 on third down conversions. The performance further solidified Florida as one of, if not the best defense in the entire country.
The win allows the Gators to close the week on a positive note after losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and star defensive tackle Dominique Easley to season-ending injuries. Now, Florida will return home and turn their attention to their next Southeastern Conference foe, the Arkansas Razorbacks.