Ray Davis rushes for career-high 280 yards and scores 4 TDs, Kentucky dominates No. 22 Florida 33-14
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Ray Davis rushed for a career-high 280 yards and scored four touchdowns, including three in the first half, as Kentucky overwhelmed No. 22 Florida 33-14 on Saturday.
The Wildcats (5-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) turned a matchup considered critical toward establishing an East Division challenger behind top-ranked Georgia into a rout before halftime thanks to Davis’ dominant day.
The Vanderbilt transfer established a career rushing best with 206 yards before the break alone in addition to scoring runs of 3 and 75 yards, the latter virtually untouched after bursting through a hole on the left side.
Davis also charged hard for a 9-yard TD reception that made it 10-0, getting a little assist at the goal line from guard Eli Cox. He added 2-yard TD run early in the third quarter on the way to a 26-carry day for the third-highest single-game rushing total in program history.
Kentucky totaled 398 yards against the SEC’s top overall and scoring defense, which entered the game yielding just 224 yards and 13.5 points per outing. The Wildcats also beat the Gators (3-2, 1-1) for the third consecutive time – their first such streak since winning four in a row from 1948-51 – and fourth in six meetings.
Graham Mertz threw a 4-yard TD pass to Hayden Hansen just before halftime and a 33-yard score to Ricky Pearsall in the third quarter. Mertz completed 25 of 30 passes for 244 yards, but was sacked three times.
He was also intercepted by Trevin Wallace, who snatched Deone Walker’s deflection and returned it 21 yards to the Florida 21 and set up Davis’ first score.
Florida: The Gators reached the end zone after settling for five field goals against Charlotte, but it was too late by then as just about everything else failed against Kentucky. Their defense barely laid a hand on Davis, whose big TD run came after the special teams was flagged for a costly leaping penalty on a punt.
Kentucky: Davis took a huge step toward establishing himself as the SEC’s top runner with a monster day. The Wildcats were aggressive in most every phase, just what they needed with a bigger challenge looming at Georgia next week.
Florida should exit the rankings after being overwhelmed by Kentucky, which made a strong case toward getting in after earning 41 votes last week.
Florida hosts Vanderbilt next Saturday.
Kentucky visits the top-ranked Bulldogs.
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