Anthony Richardson, No. 12 Gators flop vs. Kentucky: ‘I played terrible’
A sellout crowd on the Swamp, nationwide TV viewers and 22 NFL scouts from 15 groups had been eager to see what Anthony Richardson could do for an encore Saturday night time in opposition to Kentucky.
With a high 10 rating in sight on an upset-filled day and Heisman hype constructing after only one week, Florida’s callow quarterback fell back to earth and the No. 12 Gators’ sudden rise fizzled throughout a 26-16 loss to the No. 20 Wildcats.
Richardson and Napier every shouldered the blame throughout the Gators’ third loss in the past five meetings with the Wildcats, losers of 31 straight within the collection till a breakthrough win in 2018 in Gainesville.
“You’ve got to take a good look in the mirror,” Napier mentioned. “That’s exactly what I’m going to do, what our staff’s going to do.”
Richardson deliberate to look inside.
The subdued redshirt sophomore from Gainesville took complete possession for the loss.
“I feel like it’s completely on me,” Richardson mentioned. “Lots of people say it’s not, however I really feel prefer it’s on me. I performed horrible.
“I didn’t do anything that would’ve helped my team.”
Richardson was jittery from the soar. He accomplished 1 of 4 passes on the opening, did not report consecutive completions throughout the first half and completed 14 of 35 for 143 yards and a couple of interceptions whereas dashing for simply 4 yards.
Per week earlier he totaled 274 yards, ran for 3 touchdowns and didn’t commit a turnover in opposition to No. 7 Utah.
The 2 interceptions Saturday night time led to 14 Kentucky factors, together with a 65-yard pick-six by cornerback Keidron Smith for the go-ahead rating with 3:25 to go within the third quarter and the Gators driving.
Meanwhile, quarterback Will Levis, a fellow first-round prospect, confirmed superior poise throughout his second season as Wildcats’ starter as a reported crowd of 88,993 seemed on.
Levis accomplished his first 6 passes and completed a good 13 of 24 for 202 yards a landing and an interception whereas beneath constant stress from the Gators’ protection. Kentucky’s QB related with Dane Key for a 55-yard rating because the 6-foot-3 first-year freshman outmuscled Georgia transfer cornerback Jalen Kimber for the ball.
Florida 3 sacks and seven quarterback hurries per week after failing to get Utah quarterback Cam Rising to the bottom.
“A lot of good on defense,” Napier mentioned.
Junior defensive tackle Gervon Dexter made his second profession interception, off a cross deflection by Brenton Cox Jr. to arrange a Gators’ rating for a 16-7 lead.
But with the offense struggling, Florida’s protection wore down as Kentucky’s run sport and Levis managed the clock. The Wildcats held the ball greater than almost 18 minutes of the second half to stroll away with consecutive wins in opposition to the Gators for the primary time since 1976-77.
Florida ended the night time 5 of 19 on third/fourth down per week after it was 9 of 14.
“We’ll learn from this experience, and we’re going to improve,” Napier mentioned. “We’re going to return and work. You’ve bought to take possession. Certainly as a frontrunner, that’s precisely the plan right here. We can coach higher, and we are able to play higher. That begins with me.
“We’ll go back to work and try to improve.”
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Edgar Thompson at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter at @osgators.
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