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Saturday October 20, 2007No. 14 Florida Football Downs No. 8 Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky.Fresh off a bye week, the No. 14 Florida (5-2, 3-2 SEC) football team stormed into a loud Commonwealth Stadium with a record-breaking crowd against eighth-ranked Kentucky and defeated the Wildcats, 45-37, Saturday. The Gators extended their winning streak over the Wildcats to 21 games.

 

Sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) accounted for five touchdowns, including a career-high four through the air and rushed for his 10th score of the season in his eighth-consecutive game. Tebow amassed 254 passing yards on 16 completions and added 78 yards on the ground.

 

Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson completed five of six passes for 61 yards after UK forced a three-and-out on Florida’s first possession. Woodson capped off the Wildcats’ first drive with a touchdown down the right side to Dicky Lyons Jr. to open up the scoring and give Kentucky the early lead.

 

Tebow completed four passes and the Gator offense responded with a sustained 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with UF’s sophomore signal-caller rolling right to find Cornelius Ingram (Hawthorne, Fla.) diving over the end zone for his team-best fifth touchdown of the season to tie the game.

 

Defensive ends Derrick Harvey (Greenbelt, Md.) and Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga.) generated back-to-back sacks to halt a Kentucky drive that resulted in a Lonas Sieber wide-left, missed field-goal attempt. Harvey and Cunningham had two sacks each on the day as the Gators defensive front collected a season-high six sacks.

 

The Gators struck back quick with a 66-yard touchdown connection from Tebow to Louis Murphy (St. Petersburg, Fla.), his second of the year. The bomb was Tebow’s longest completion and Murphy’s longest reception in their careers. Tebow faked the run and pulled back as Murphy slipped by the Wildcat secondary to give Florida a 14-7 lead.

 

Kentucky scored the first points of the second quarter to pull within four points after Sieber’s 27-yard field goal. Sophomore kick returner Brandon James (St. Augustine, Fla.) gave the Gators advantageous field position on the ensuing kickoff into the wind.  

 

Florida had another answer on its next drive to close out the first half that ended in another touchdown, Tebow’s third toss of the day, emulating a jump-pass reminiscent of last year’s game against LSU. This time it was a one-yard connection to freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez (Bristol, Conn.), the first scoring catch of his career.

 

Fellow freshman Justin Trattou (Ramsey, N.J.) gave Florida extra momentum going into the locker room at halftime, dropping Woodson for a sack. Javier Estopinan (Miami, Fla.) registered his first sack of the year late in the third quarter.

 

Tebow went to senior wide receiver Andre Caldwell (Tampa, Fla.) in the red zone for his fourth scoring toss on the day to give Florida a 28-10 advantage. The Wildcats against showed their resiliency as tight end Jacob Tamme spun away from two defenders and was on the receiving end of a 28-yard scoring strike from Woodson to cut into UF’s lead. Caldwell’s presence was felt after missing four games with an injury, catching a team-high six passes and passing Jabar Gaffney for eighth place in the all-time receptions list with 140.

 

After Kentucky failed to recover an onside kick, Tebow executed another drive that resulted in a 21-yard field goal by Joey Ijjas (Clearwater, Fla.), his sixth of the year in eight attempts.

 

Lyons Jr. struck again with his third touchdown catch of the afternoon on a short screen play that turned into a 50-yard touchdown as he raced through the Florida secondary to cut the deficit to seven.

 

Sophomore wide receiver Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.) took a handoff from Tebow and sprinted 24 yards to re-establish a 14-point advantage at 38-24, following his blockers to perfection around the left side. Harvin proved to be problematic for the UK defense with his second touchdown of the year on the ground and added two catches for 51 yards.

 

Florida heads to Jacksonville next weekend to take on Georgia in Alltel Stadium at 3:30 p.m. The game will be aired on CBS.

 

 

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