WATCH: No. 10 Florida Upset by Kentucky Wildcats 20-13, Gators Commit 15 Penalties in Loss
By Space Coast Daily // October 2, 2021
NExt Game: vs Vanderbilt on Oct. 9
ABOVE VIDEO: Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed for 99 YDS and 1 TD as the Kentucky Wildcats upset the No. 10 Florida Gators 20-13.
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY (Florida Gators) – Florida Gators fell to the Kentucky Wildcats 20-13 Saturday night at Kroger Field in Lexington.
UK linebacker Trevin Wallace returned a blocked goal 76 yards for the go-ahead score in the third quarter, tailback Christopher Rodriguez Jr. had a 9-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run, and the Wildcats, backed by a wild and crazy Kroger Field crowd, upset the 10th-ranked Gators 20-13 Saturday night.
Kentucky beat Florida for just the second time in 34 years (and for the first time in Lexington since 1986) despite just 211 yards of total offense. That’s because the Gators aided the home team’s cause with 15 penalties and a fourth-quarter interception by Emory Jones that led to the Rodriguez touchdown. Even so, UF had a chance to tie the game and force overtime after driving to the UK 5 with a first down inside a minute remaining. But a 4-yard loss on a pass play was followed by a false-start penalty, turning first-and-goal at the 5 into second and goal at the 14 with 31 seconds left.
On fourth-and-goal from the 8, Jones’s pass into the end zone fell incomplete and moments later the field was a sea of Big Blue as police let the fans empty onto the field to celebrate. Jones finished 23 of 31 for 203 yards, one touchdown and the one interception.
Offensively, the Gators finished with 382 yards of total offense, including a season-low 171 on the ground. Even the return of backup quarterback Anthony Richardson couldn’t help the UF cause. Richardson completed his only pass attempt for eight yards and rushed five times for 25.
UK quarterback Will Levis completed just six of 15 passes for 74 yards a touchdown, while Rodriguez, the SEC’s rushing leader coming in, carried 19 times for 99 yards and the put-away score.
Florida led 10-7 midway into the third quarter and had a great chance to add to the lead after an interception by Tre’Vez Johnson set the Gators up with a first down at the UK 31. The drive, however, went nowhere and Jace Christmann’s 48-yard field goal was blocked by defensive lineman Josh Paschal and taken the distance by Wallace to flip the scoreboard in Kentucky’s favor at 13-10 (the point-after was blocked). On the Gators’ ensuing possession, Jones tried to force a pass to tight end Kemore Gamble, who was double covered. The ball was intercepted by linebacker J.J. Weaver, who returned the play 20 yards to the UF 29. Four plays later, Rodriguez broke free and untouched off the right side for a 9-yard touchdown run and 10-point UK lead with 11:32 to play. A 33-yard field goal by Christmann made it a one-possession game with 6:23 left and set up the frantic final seconds.