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No. 9 Florida looks to extend streak vs Kentucky
Maybe Kentucky’s most gut-wrenching loss came two years later. Terry Dean and Danny Wuerffel combined to throw seven interceptions in Lexington, but with 8 seconds remaining, Wuerffel hooked up with Chris Doering for a 28-yard score and a 24-20 victory.
Derek Abney looked like he might single-handily end the streak in 2002. He scored on a kickoff return, a punt return and a reception. But Florida’s Keiwan Ratliff intercepted a pass on a two-point conversion and returned it the other way to put the Gators ahead for good, 41-34.
Kentucky had another chance the following year. The Cats were up 21-3 entering the fourth quarter and looked like they might stave off Chris Leak’s comeback attempt. But Jared Lorenzen threw an interception that was returned to the 1. Florida scored on the next play to go ahead 24-21 with 3:15 remaining. Kentucky’s Taylor Begley missed a 49-yard field goal attempt with 44 seconds left.
Neither team could stop the other in 2007. Behind Andre Woodson, the Wildcats cut the lead to 38-31 in the fourth. But Tim Tebow responded with a long pass to Percy Harvin, which set up a short TD run to seal it.
The last two meetings have been routs, with Florida blocking kicks, hitting big plays and scoring a combined 59 points in the first quarter.
The Gators would rather extend the streak without any help from Kentucky and certainly without a coin flip.
“Sooner or later the streak’s gonna end,” Florida defensive line coach Dan McCarney said. “We sure don’t want it Saturday night. But we know it’s going to happen sometime. Streaks are made to be broken. I’m sure that’s what they’re selling to the Kentucky players and coaches, and we’re going to do everything we can to try to keep it going.”
By Brahma Chellaney
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