Robinson, Jones lead Florida Gators to 36-30 win over Kentucky in 3OT thriller

By Adam Silverstein
September 13, 2014

Updated at 1:35 a.m.

In the first three-overtime game in school history, the Florida Gators (2-0, 1-0 SEC) defeated the Kentucky Wildcats (2-1, 0-1 SEC) with a late rushing touchdown from junior running back Matt Jones serving as the deciding score in the 36-30 victory.

Jones, whose tremendous effort was a boon for the Gators throughout the evening on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, rumbled for a game-high 156 yards on a game-high 29 carries. When he crossed the goal line on his fourth-straight carry in the third overtime, Jones not only scored the game-winning touchdown but accounted for all 25 yards of Florida’s offense that drive.

Sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson was an even brighter star for the Gators on Saturday, hauling in a school record-tying 15 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns, all game-highs.

His 15 receptions tied a record first set by Carlos Alvarez in 1969, while his 216 yards were the fourth-most ever amassed by a Florida wide receiver in a single game.


Robinson caught a 23-yard pass on the second play of the contest, ran after a catch later in the first quarter for a 51-yard gain and made a 33-yard reception off a bobbled interception by a Kentucky defensive back in the third quarter to set up a Florida’s first touchdown of the game. He then accounted for three receptions, 42 yards and a touchdown on the Gators’ next offensive drive, spotting Florida a 20-17 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Entering overtime with 205 yards, Robinson converted a huge 4th and 7 for the Gators with the game on the line, catching a fade touchdown pass from redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, which was snapped just as the play clock expired.

“I was kind of expecting the ball, but I just wanted Driskel to give me a chance to make a play. … Driskel gave me a great ball,” Robinson said.

The duo looked sure to hook up on 3rd and Goal in the second overtime, but Driskel stared down an open Robinson and threw the ball a too late; Robinson dropped it and was visibly perturbed after the play.

“I did get a little frustrated because I seen I got open, so I thought he was going to see me. He looked at me, and I thought he was going to throw it to me off the bat. He hesitated a little bit. I just got a little frustrated. We’re good now,” he said with a smile.

While trying to throw the ball away early in the contest, Driskel made an untimely miscue, tossing an interception. He started 7-of-20 but completed 18 of his last 23 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

“I just missed a few guys. That happens. We took a lot of shots early, shots that we could have made. Like I’ve said, I have to give those guys a chance down the field,” Driskel said. “We’ll get that corrected. Right now, I’m just really happy we came out with a win against a really good team.”

Redshirt senior kicker Frankie Velez converted 3-of-4 field goals, hitting from 35 and 22 yards before missing a 39-yard attempt with 9:02 remaining and a chance to extend UF’s lead to six points. However, he bounced back with a 20-yard conversion in the second overtime to extend the game. Redshirt sophomore K Austin Hardin got one try, a 52-yard attempt to win the game late in the fourth quarter, but shanked the ball badly.

Flipping the field with booming punts all night was senior Kyle Christy, who booted the ball six times for 292 yards with a long of 61 yards and four punts of 50 yards or more; he downed four inside Kentucky’s 20-yard line.

The Wildcats were able to find holes in the Gators’ secondary throughout the evening with Kentucky QB Patrick Towles completing 24-of-45 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns. However, Florida was able to pick off Towles thrice on Saturday, also dropping a number of other potential interceptions in the contest.

Towles’s favorite target was wideout Garrett Johnson, who beat UF senior safety Jabari Gorman for much of his 154 yards. Two of Johnson’s six receptions went for touchdowns.

Gators junior defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was a big reason why Towles struggled at times on Saturday. Fowler picked up six tackles including three solo and two for lost yardage. He only registered a single sack but had four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble on the evening.

Sophomore S Keanu Neal accounted for two of Florida’s three interceptions, and sophomore Brian Poole was responsible for the other. Poole and classmate Marcus Maye combined for three pass breakups, while sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III registered four on his own.

The Gators were 3-2 all-time in overtime games before Saturday’s game with a 2-1 record in The Swamp. Florida won its fourth-straight overtime contest dating back to 2002 and first at home since going to two overtimes against Vanderbilt in 2005.

With the victory, UF extended its winning streak against UK to 28 games, dating back to 1986. It is the longest active winning streak against an annual opponent in the nation.

50 Comments

  1. Ken (CA) says:

    Well, the guys gutted it out but wow, what poor execution by offense in the first half and defense in the 2nd half. CWM still doesn’t engender much faith here.

    They keep talking about how much better UK is, but they aren’t THAT much better. when we executed it was clear our talent level was much higher than theirs and we could push them around. Very, very sloppy game makes next Saturday very scary as to whether we can even keep it close. UK should not have been able to gash our defense like that, and UA talent level is eons higher than UK.

    • 1974Gator says:

      I could see this one coming when I watched their game against Ohio. Much better talent on D and faster. They caused a lot of our sloppy execution. Bama is not eons better than UK. They will surprise and beat more SEC teams this season. The Gators look very average.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    Adam – you gave Driskel 100 yds too many

  3. W2 says:

    Good game.(Still exhaling) besides the dirty plays Kentucky played ball. The Corner and Safety positions are young and they picked on everyone besides #1. Flower is a MONSTER. Go Gators.

  4. kaveman says:

    I know Driskel is the best we have right now, but he’s so inaccurate on the deep pass, and the stupid “fall-away trying to get rid of the ball that half the time leads to an INT” thing he does makes me want to know if the Harris kid could make the offense “go” better.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      why would you say that? Driskel has been one of the best QB we have had in a long time, even better passing than Tebow. He is incredibly accurate on the deep ball, and today was not indicative of his skill. You are way off on thinking he can’t throw the deep ball well, as he has many times. You have to think about the line and the timing for him to be able to get it off well, but when he has been given time, he is incredibly accurate

      • Bill says:

        This has to be the most absurd comments ever on here and I’ve seen a lot of crazy ones

      • Michael J. says:

        I think you need to go to the doctor to have your eyes checked. If Driskel was “incredibly accurate” UF would have blown Kentucky out. UF’s receivers constantly got behind Kentucky’s secondary (after all they’re still Kentucky), but Driskel never came close to making an accurate pass. Roper finally quit calling vertical passes, why waste the down? He doesn’t have a quarterback that can throw the ball.

  5. sean kidd says:

    Our kickers are bad and we were a 4th down conversion away from WM setting another low for the program. I don’t know how much Kentucky has improved but we will know what we have next week I guess.

    • 1974gator says:

      No, our kickers aren’t bad……Hardin is bad. We have excellent results from our punter and FG kicker inside 40-45 yards.

  6. SJ210 says:

    SOS! No not Steven Orr Spurrier, but same old $&!t. It appears not much has changed from last year. OL struggling, Driskel making dumb decisions, struggling to put 20 points up in regulation, minimal pressure on the QB by the defense, and nobody who can hit a FG outside of 40 yards. On the bright side, Robinson looks like a star but where are the other playmakers on this offense? And this was against Kentucky! If last night is an indication (and I think it is), we might be lucky to go 6-6.

    • Michael J. says:

      No, I think 4-7 is more likely. There are only two games left that UF will be favored in, the paid scrub and Vanderbilt. I don’t think UF can upset anyone as long as Driskel remains the quarterback.

  7. kaveman says:

    Hahaha! Good one Ken.

  8. SW FL Joe says:

    If I’m Bama I stack the line so UF can’t gash me up the middle, double team Robinson and make Driskel beat me deep.

    • 1974gator says:

      If you double team Robinson on pass plays the rest of our receivers are one on one with dbs. We won’t need to throw deep. We want our boys one on one with Bamas dbs. If they stack the line AND double team Robinson we win!

  9. Marlex says:

    Driskel was off early, but he settled down and come up with some clutch plays late. We also had some terrible drops sprinkled through the game. But I feel the biggest problem on the offense was the OL play. How many times were there unblocked defenders in the backfield? I lost count.

    Defensively, they threw up a lot of 50/50 balls that felt just right for their guy to get them (with the exception of the blown coverage which led to the TD).

    Was it a pretty game? No. Aside from the missed FGs, the team didn’t try to lose the game, like we would have last year. They had a lot of fight on all side of the ball, and they found a way to win. And don’t forget, we have one less game under our belts than most of the teams we’re facing. I believe that excuse is now gone since we have two complete games, but I’m willing to give them a bit of leeway yesterday due to it.

    I’m just happy we have a win. I’m worried about next week, but I was already worried about next week.

  10. Drew says:

    The offense felt like they were trying to be something they are not early on in the game with the deep passing game. Kinda like they expected UK to just roll over and they felt like they could try some new things out and then turn it on if they had to. Things didn’t work out that way though. Credit UK for playing well, but also look at the players (especially on defense) for coming out and expecting to win just because they had a Florida uniform on.

  11. Gator751 says:

    My issues with Driskel remain the same, stares down receivers, can’t read a defense, and locks in on one receiver. How many times was the blitz off the corner visible well before the snap and Driskel did nothing to get out if the play or a route adjustment.

    It looks to me like he is making a pre snap read and then not even bothering with going through progressions. He throws it to his pre snap read. Look at the amount of yards Robinson had and how great of a percentage that is of the total passing offense. You can’t just keep throwing it to the same guy.

  12. J.A. says:

    Boy did we get lucky last night. Blown call by the ref saved us on the TD pass when the play clock expired. We’ll take it anyway we can get it.. Or at least thats the way it has been during Muschamp’s tenure. Give credit to UK though, they are a much improved and good team this year. Mark Stoops is a very good coach and I think UK will upset some teams this season.

    Some of the same problems we faced last year I saw them last night. Nickle-and-dime offense, playing to conservative at times, and missed field goals. Why can’t we get a decent kicker ? Austin Hardin has been nothing short of awful during his career at UF! Matt Jones played well but had a ton of of carries. I thought we could have got Kelvin more touches to at least give us a chance at more explosive plays.

    Moving forward, Driskel is still shaky under pressure and Matt Jones will get injured if he carries the ball 29 times against Alabama next week. I feel we are an improved team from last year but only because we have healthier players at this point. Offense is slightly improved but not enough to make you comfortable yet. Defense is still poor on 3rd downs and especially late in games. Hopefully we can continue to improve. GO GATORS

  13. kaveman says:

    I like the play calling so far for the offense. The last couple years its been dumb stuff like, we need a yard but hand it off 5yds deep in the back field. Or a pass play with multiple routes short of a 1st down on a 3rd down play.
    But last night the plays called were good, we just missed on some. A couple of the drops would have been 1st downs. On the deep passes the receivers were open just over thrown. And in the second half they went with what was working and just ran it.
    The Charlie Wies and Brent Pease era’s play calling always seemed off. Like what is a pass to the flat on 3rd and 8 supposed to accomplish? And why is that play called over and over again?
    I’m so glad we didn’t see a random (drive killing) wildcat play thrown in during the second half.
    This probably won’t be a 9 or 10 win season, but if plays are being called that give the players a chance to execute, then I can live with the out come.

  14. G2 says:

    Wow, that was a gift, Christmas in Sept! Time had clearly expired, should have been a loss but we’ll take it and live to fight another day. Shades of last year really troubling like dumb penalties at the worst times, Diskel not connecting on the deep ball (always overthrown), staring down receivers, OL snafu’s, and the list goes on. I said rhis game was going to be closer than expected, not drinking the kool-aid yet.
    Think we get spanked pretty good next week. We won’t be able to run the ball and the D, especially the secondary isn’t ready for a game like this. That rainout really hurt us, needed another warm-up game under our belt. Be happy if its even close, a least a close game wont scare off recruits.

  15. Dave Massey says:

    Everyone is saying that snap call in OT was a blown call but all I ever saw was a replay from behind the Gators line. You couldn’t actually see when the snap began. And it was too difficult to tell from that angle. I know they must have a shot straight down the line and when we see that replay then we can say. That is a reviewable play and the booth officials had to be looking at it and didn’t decide there was enough to even stop play, so show me the proof first.

    The officiating was terrible all night. That spear on Taylor not being called was unforgiveable. That was a downright dirty play. So I don’t feel even a little bit bad about the snap call IF it was a bad call.

    JD was 25 of 43 for 295 yards, Jones had 29 carries for 159 yards, and Robinson had 15 catches for 215 yards, Christy was awesome, all the kickoffs were deep, and all you morons can say is there has been no improvement? What games from last year was this not an improvement on? You all need to get a fricking life. Quit expecting every play to be perfect, it NEVER happens for ANY team. This is big boy football and Kentucky came ready to play and played their hearts out and so did the Gators. This is life in the SEC! In fact, outside of Vanderbilt the SEC is scary good. The SEC teams only have something like three out of conference losses so far, throw away Vandy and what do you have (and some on here questioned how good of a coach Franklin is), and they haven’t played that many FCS teams like the ACC (Always Crappy Conference) does.

    I think Towles showed us he is better than either of Bama’s qb’s, Georgia’s qb, LSU’s qb, and South Carolina’s qb, so quit all the doom and gloom talk. There were dropped passes, the OL definitely needs to work on their blitz assignments, the field goal kicking needs to improve, and the secondary lost too much on 50-50 balls. These type of plays happen to every team every week, the key is to have less of them. But their receivers also made a number of unbelieveable catches. It was only the second game of the year, they should improve game to game.

    • 1974gator says:

      Dave,
      The play clock had clearly expired and we should have been called for delay of game. What a break. That said, the refs owed us that one for all the atrocious calls they made against us and neglected to make for us last night.
      Also, after watching what happened last year, when all the injuries were at fault, and now seeing a (almost) completely healthy team play like the 2013 squad I don’t blame many of the critics for their pessimism.
      Thank goodness for Robinson. A better defensive coordinator would never have allowed him more than 10 catches. Don’t forget the interception/ricochet catch off the KY defender into Robinson’s hands… W/o it we would never have made OT. God smiled on the Gators that play as well as on the missed delay of game call.
      Yes, KY is an improved team and we may have been looking ahead (I hope) BUT the mighty Gators of yore were not playing last night and that’s who we expect to see.

      • Dave Massey says:

        The SEC office released a statement saying that they reviewed the play and the correct call was made. Like I said…..

        • 1974Gator says:

          That SEC officials statement was BS and a CYA response. The ball was clearly snapped a full second after the clock expired

          • Dave Massey says:

            No it wasn’t. They showed it and discussed it on SEC Now last night on the SEC Network. They showed the play with a good view of the snap with the clock. I played it frame by frame twenty times just to make sure and the ball was very clearly snapped at the exact same moment as the clock went to zero. Add in the reaction time of the back judge looking from the clock to the snapper and it was obviously the right call. The commentators on the SEC Network agreed it was the correct call. This is the proper application of the rule. Get over it and admit you are wrong.

            • 1974Gator says:

              With that much vetting I must be wrong. If they had called it Saturday nite I wouldn’t have been surprised. I regret having gotten into a disagreement with you. It has not been a pleasant nor a particularly enlightening experience.

              • Dave Massey says:

                Too bad you are so thin skinned about being wrong, as you kind of backed into sorta left handed admitting you were. If they had called that delay they would have been wrong just like you. As for the rest of that condescending garbage, you have mistaken me for somebody who cares.

              • 1974Gator says:

                Dave Massey – “in all kinds of weather we all stick together” The site administrator should be watching you more closely. Try to be a little more civil to those of us who don’t see things your way.

              • Who is this anonymous “site administrator?”

                But I do agree that you all should be more civil and respectful to each other.

              • gatorboi352 says:

                Adam,

                Agreed, and that goes without saying. But Dave is bordering on Michael J. territory (in the complete opposite direction) with his attacks.

              • Dave Massey says:

                To 1974 Gator:

                You were the one insisting the clock call was wrong. I don’t think my comment on the morning of the 16th was all that bad or offensive. Even Musberger said at the time, “in all fairness folks, the clock play was inconclusive”. If it was that close it shouldn’t have been called. You were the one that made the personal attack after that and all I did was give it right back to you. Then you want to whine to the ‘site administrator’ about me? Maybe you shouldn’t be throwing stones and should have just said, after looking at all the facts I was wrong instead of trying to make it look like a conspiracy effort by the conference office. Steve Shaw is one of the best officials I have ever seen in college football, and if there was a mistake he would have said so.

                In all kinds of weather we all stick together…. If that were true there wouldn’t be so much criticism of the Gators by comments on here. I’ve never seen a bigger bunch of second guessers in my life. This guy should have run this way on that play, they should have run this guy, they should have thrown to that guy instead. It is really easy to make decisions like that after the play is over but not so easy before you know the outcome. I don’t know why everybody was so surprised at the way Kentucky played. Stoops was probably pounding it in their head immediately after the game last year. Twenty seven in a row to the same team, the longest such streak in the nation currently. The last time Kentucky beat Florida nobody on either team had been born. At that time Muschamp was a freshman, IN HIGH SCHOOL! People should be tipping their hats to Kentucky for playing so well against a team that had a talent edge against them.

                Florida did some good things and some not so good things. That is the nature of football, especially in the second game. Florida is 6th in the country in yards per game. That is about a hundred spots better than last year. But for some Gator fans anything less than perfection on every play is not acceptable. At the beginning of this year I did not expect Florida to be a national championship contender and still don’t. I don’t think Driskel(l), couldn’t resist, is a top ten quarterback but he is a decent quarterback. The offense is greatly improved from last year to me. With the schedule we play there are probably going to be several losses and I expected that too. People just have to have realistic expectations. Don’t be upset that we don’t dominate every team every game, I think they are moving in the right direction. The secondary has to play a lot better and Florida will have a “successful” year and build for the future. They need to get their confidence back after last year first and all the criticism isn’t going to get them there.

                If you want to bury the hatchet that’s fine with me but don’t make it sound like it was all my fault.

                To gatorboi: You have made some pretty outrageous and inflammatory comments in the past including a ridiculous accusation of racism, so this is just a continuation of those issues between us, so don’t act so offended.

              • 1974Gator says:

                Blah blah blah blah blah … sounds like somebody has an inferiority complex. The snap was late we got lucky!

              • Dave Massey says:

                It’s better than having an inferior mind like you jerk. I think you are just too stupid to know when you’re wrong rather than being too stubborn to admit it.

              • Let’s all stop with the insults.

              • Dave Massey says:

                No problem, I offered to bury the hatchet but he came back with a stupid insult, so I came back with a stupid insult. Adam, would you care to weigh in on the clock call, if you think I’m wrong I will admit it and apologize?

              • I’m not following your conversation. My opinion is they got the call right.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Calling us all morons completely nullifies your entire post.

      Also, I’m almost convinced you’re Muschamp himself stalking internet forums.

      • kaveman says:

        Although nothing would make me happier than to find out at the end of the season that I was being a moron for thinking that the Gators were going to be average at best.

      • Dave Massey says:

        What, you’re going to tap me on the head with your magic wand and say “you’re nullified”? I really don’t care what you think, btw. I think you are a nole troll anyways. I’ll make you a deal, you don’t read any more of my comments and don’t respond to them and I won’t read any more of your comments or respond to them. Consider it done.

        • gatorboi352 says:

          LOL me a nole troll, that’s rich.

          Sorry I don’t wear the orange and blue shades 24/7, guess that equates me to being a Seminole fan.

          • Dave Massey says:

            Hey, I know that was you I saw making out with that big ole nole goi last year at the game. You were wearing orange and blue sunglasses and there was a sign on the back of your shorts that said ‘gatorboi’. Had to be you, tell me I’m wrong.

  16. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Simple question to our offensive coordinator. Why our we running the zone read option out of the shotgun if we’re not going to let Driskel ever keep it and run it himself ? In 2012 that was a game saver for us? Bread & butter play. There was time after time where UK’s defensive end would crash down on Matt jones running up the gut damn just so many opportunities for Driskel to do what he does best & use his legs. I saw play after play where Jeff could’ve gashed them had they just let him loose we wouldn’t have even had to end up in overtime!!! If there is any silver lining to winning this game I certainly hope that coming this close to losing to UK will maybe hopefully bring this team together maybe…… Whew Go Gators!!!!!!

    • Michael Jones says:

      Thank you for your comment about the zone read option and not letting Driskel keep the ball. I was at the game and that was driving me crazy all night because you could see how open that was, especially in the first half.

      The year we went 11-2 that was a big part of our offense. Driskel’s a big strong kid and he’s a football player. Let him do what he does best.

      Also agree with some of the comments above about not changing the calls or at least having a hot read when it’s obvious they were blitzing. We needed 3 yards for a 1st down, had a 4 wide receiver formation, UK was obviously bringing the house, and Driskel sits back there and gets hammered on a slow developing 10 yard out pattern that never got off. Even high school teams can make that adjustment.

      Same for when the CB is lined up 10 yards off of Robinson or some of our other receivers. That should be an immediate eye contact adjustment. That’s very basic football.

      • Kaleb Wolfe says:

        It was driving me & my dad bat sh*t crazy as well Michael Jones & I couldn’t agree more with you’re comments as well, ya know it makes me very curious as to why they’re not using Driskel’s legs? I understand keeping him healthy especially when you’ve got a big lead but this was a must win game situation, Muschamp was literally coaching for his job here!!! I really hope it’s not either due to Driskel still not being a “100%” back from that severe injury over a year ago possibly or wether just Muschamp or Roper are too damn hard headed??? Hell even Jesse Palmer covering the game on TV & former player’s tweets were saying how Driskel should’ve pulled it/ kept it himself & went running he had nothing but real estate in front of him. I remember back in 2012 hell the camera man would even get faked out while covering the game lets just hope that Muschamp, Roper, & Driskel really now I mean really actually watch the UK game tape from Saturday & pay attention cuz we all know we can’t afford to hold anything back offensively this Saturday. Also look how much trouble Alabama’s defense had vs. Auburn last season & this season with a West Virginia with the shotgun spread zone/read option, it game Bama’s defense fits. Look I just hope that this coaching staff keeps this in mind all weak going into this Saturday. One of Bama’s safeties will have to sit out the 1st half due to targeting a player last Saturday but I’d gladly rather have D.J. Humphries back & let some back up safety for Alabama sit out the 1st half. Here’s to the Florida Gators holding nothing back not just on Offense, Defense as well as Special teams if we even hope to stand a chance. Go Gators!!!!!!

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