While watching the first half last night of the Kentucky-Florida game, I encountered a bit of PTSD. This came at the 4:12 minute mark in the second quarter, just after Cade Degraw's snap sailed over Colin Goodfellow's head and he ended up kicking the ball out of the back of the endzone for a safety. At this moment, Florida went up 16-7 and we're about to receive the ball with good field position.
As a Kentucky fan, I had seen this movie many times before. However, Kentucky's defense stepped up in a big way and forced Florida to punt the ball. Will Levis then led his offense down the field, as he ran for a one yard touchdown, to bring the score to 16-13 before halftime. As many of you now know, the rest is history. Kentucky went on to win 26-16 and Mark Stoops got his 61st victory at Kentucky, making him the all-time winningest coach in Kentucky Football history.
My three takeaways from last night's game.
The Offensive Line still has some work to do.
Kentucky's Defense is good, like 2018 good.
Kentucky has something special in Dane Key
The Offensive Line issues still are something Kentucky is going to have to address in the upcoming weeks before Kentucky goes on the road again to play Ole Miss. In the first half last night, we saw the same thing that we saw in week one against Miami (OH), in that the O-Line couldn't create any holes for Kavosiey Smoke to run through. Florida's defense was able to get to Levis and force him out of the pocket. They gave up a huge sack, as well. However, I do believe that coaches Zach Yenser and Scangarello made changes in the second half as there was a noticeable improvement. The next two weeks against Youngstown State and Northern Illinois University will tell a lot about this offensive line.
This may be my hot take but I will stand by it: I believe that this year's defense can be just as good, if not better than the one in 2018 led by Josh Allen. This defense came up with two huge interceptions, one for Jordan Wright and one for Keidron Smith. JJ Weaver, Jordan Lovett, Jacques Jones, Deandre Square, Carrington Valentine, and Ty Ajian were all hands on deck, as they racked up tackle after tackle and they swarmed to the ball on defense. The only loss of the night was when Kentucky lost safety Jalen Geiger to a knee injury. It may be time for Jordan Lovett to step up in his absence.
I can't talk enough about Lexington, Kentucky native and true freshman, Dane Key. Key came up with three receptions for 83 yards, as he led the team in receiving last night. This included the 55-yard touchdown catch from Will Levis that put Kentucky up 7-3. He is the first freshman in Kentucky Football history to have a touchdown reception in the first two games of the season. His potential is so high and only time will reveal that even more.
There are still improvements to be made and things to work on, but I really like what I'm seeing out of this group. This team could really do something special this year, but like I mentioned, only time will tell. Enjoy the win Big Blue Nation and Go Cats!