No. 14 Florida beats Kentucky 38-0, extends streak

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm •  Published: September 22, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The latest game in the Kentucky-Florida series went about like the previous four: the Gators took the lead early and won in lopsided fashion.

Jeff Driskel accounted for two touchdowns, and No. 14 Florida beat Kentucky 38-0 Saturday for its 26th consecutive win in the Southeastern Conference series.

The Gators (4-0, 3-0 SEC) also recorded their first shutout in conference play since a 52-0 victory against Mississippi State in 2001.

"Any time you get a shutout, man, those things are hard to come by in this day and age of football, regardless of who you're playing," Florida coach Will Muschamp said.

Florida struggled early, not a great sign with No. 2 LSU up next in two weeks. The slow start also was a rarity against the Wildcats (1-3, 0-1). The Gators had outscored Kentucky 94-3 in the first quarter in the last four meetings, essentially sealing games before some fans settled into their seats.

It took just a little longer Saturday.

The Gators scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, enough to put Kentucky away and extend the nation's longest winning streak in a current series between two teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Wildcats haven't beaten Florida since 1986, haven't won in Gainesville since 1979 and haven't been all that competitive in the last five meetings. Florida has outscored Kentucky 238-36 in those five games.

"We didn't mention it," Driskel said of the streak. "That stat didn't really make us want to play any harder or play any different. We were going to come out and prepare like it's another SEC East team and they're just another team in the way of our goal."

Kentucky hardly had a chance in this one.

The Wildcats, who entered with the league's top passing attack, played without quarterback Maxwell Smith. He sat out with a shoulder injury. Backup Morgan Newton missed open receivers early and often, diminishing his team's already slim chance at an upset.

"I think Morgan was throwing it to the right person; we just weren't very accurate," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. "Again, for us to be successful in this offense, you have to be able to throw and catch, and we weren't able to do that today."

Kentucky finished with 60 yards passing.

Newton completed 7 of 21 passes for 48 yards, with three interceptions. He was benched in favor of Jalen Whitlow in the fourth. Smith watched from the sideline — unable to do anything to help.