Florida trailed the Wildcats 27-14 early in the fourth period before rallying on Brandon Powell's 6-yard touchdown run after taking a direct snap and Del Rio's pass to Swain.
Kentucky drove beyond midfield and appeared to be in good field goal range but a holding penalty pushed United Kingdom back. Oklahoma State responded with a 10-play, 78-yard touchdown march to pull within 27-17 midway through the third quarter, but TCU rumbled down the field on a 9-play, 75-yard drive in which eight of the snaps were runs and the only pass was a 43-yard strike to Jaelan Austin.
"As you can imagine, a very heartbreaking loss for us and our team", United Kingdom head coach Mark Stoops said.
United Kingdom football has suffered many tough losses to Florida during the recently extended 31-game losing streak, but Saturday night's loss at Kroger Field ranks amongst the worst. Two more big plays by King - a 30-yard run and a 24-yard reception on a gadget pass delivered by Lynn Bowden - helped put the Wildcats at the Gator five. The play came out of a timeout and UK's defense sent no one out to shadow Cleveland, who was lined up wide to the right. "I felt like we were the better team, but whether it's just the mistake of the guy being open, or the flag, we just beat ourselves, and that's just that". On the next play, running back Benny Snell Jr. went up the middle for 10 yards to the UF 25, but the play was called back for holding, pushing the the Wildcats back to the UF 45. "It's very disappointing that we didn't come up with those plays".
Del Rio, who appeared very poised for someone who had not played in a game since last November 5, and the offense seemed to gel when they needed to most, in the decisive fourth quarter.
The victim of another heroic comeback by Florida this season, the loss left Stoops almost speechless, knowing the Wildcats had put themselves in position to possibly end 31 years of misery. "It takes away from the passion and energy that our guys played with". He takes Feleipe Franks pass and goes 45 yards. That brought on MacGinnis for the long kick, but the Prattville High School graduate was well short on the attempt.
Florida's 30-game winning streak in the series is the longest by one FBS program over another. 52 yards later, he's stopped at the 10 yard line. He had a touchdown and was intercepted by Darius West. Franks was 7-of-12 for 85 yards and a score. UK's lead is cut to 27-21.
"We knew they were going to come to play for all four quarters", said Johnson who threw for 196 yards and there touchdowns.
In the decisive fourth quarter, the Gators rode true freshman running back Malik Davis, who finished the game with 93 yards on 21 carries. Six other Wildcats had a catch. "There's no doubt about it that we're upset, but we're going to get better from this".
"As you can expect, it was very hard just because you put your heart and soul into a game and to fall short like that isn't a good feeling, especially considering all of the work we put in", said Conrad. The Wildcats host Eastern Michigan next Saturday.