Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Keep Streak Alive; Grier Plays Entire Game as UF Beats Kentucky for 29th Consecutive Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Keep Streak Alive; Grier Plays Entire Game as UF Beats Kentucky for 29th Consecutive Time

Article excerpt

Byline: Graham Hack

LEXINGTON, KY. | The Gators may have a quarterback.

They definitely have a defense.

In a performance similar to many from the past several years, Florida's offense struggled but did enough to secure a 14-9 victory over Kentucky, extending the Gators' winning streak in the series to 29 games.

The Gators' offense only managed to put up 245 yards against the Wildcats, but the Florida defense was stout, allowing 241 yards and no touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier played the entire game for the Gators, going 13-of-22 for 125 yards and an interception as sophomore Treon Harris watched from the sideline.

Most impressive about Grier's performance was his effort in the rushing game. He ran 12 times for a team-leading 61 yards and a touchdown, all scrambles on broken down plays from the pocket, and he looked to have just as much elusiveness and mobility as Harris.

Despite struggling for much of the second half through the air, UF coach McElwain opted to leave the redshirt freshman in the game and ride it out instead of switching quarterbacks, which he said he would do earlier in the week.

Florida's defense gave Kentucky junior quarterback Patrick Towles fits throughout the game, holding him to 8-of-24 passing for 126 yards while intercepting him twice and sacking him six times.

The Gators took their first lead of the game on a drive set up by an interception from cornerback Vernon Hargreaves that he returned to the Wildcats' 19-yard line.

Kentucky managed to hold Florida to a fourth down at the 1-yard line, but McElwain elected to go for it, and Grier took a bootleg around the right side and scored the touchdown as he dove for the pylon. Kentucky narrowed the deficit to 7-3 with a field goal on its next drive, and the game remained that way for nearly a 17-minute stretch that included Florida have a 34-yard field goal attempt blocked.

The Gators ended the scoring drought after a 5-minute, 31-second drive that concluded when running back Kelvin Taylor scored his third rushing touchdown of the season with 14 seconds remaining in the first half. …

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