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Florida 14, Kentucky 9: Gators stave off Wildcats to preserve winning streak

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Florida continues to play with fire, but the Gators haven't been burned by that practice yet.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Another year, another close call for Florida's decades-long streak of consecutive wins over Kentucky.

Another year, another Gators win.

Florida secured a14-9 triumph at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington only at the last moments of Saturday night's clash, with a Quincy Wilson interception on fourth down ending a potential game-winning drive for the Wildcats in the fourth quarter. And it had held only a tenuous grasp on its lead — one the Gators never lost after taking a 7-0 advantage in the first quarter on a diving Will Grier touchdown — virtually from halftime onward, after Grier threw an end zone interception. That play — which squandered Florida's best chance to go up by two touchdowns — turned what seemed like a possible blowout into siege warfare.

The Florida defense, asked to defend for much of the second half, withstood the assault. Florida gave up just two field goals on full-field drives in the second half, stoning one drive on which Kentucky ran seven plays from within Florida's 5 just short of six points.

On this night, that was enough, combined with a gritty effort from Grier (13-for-22, 125 passing yards, one interception; 61 rushing yards, one touchdown) — who played every snap at quarterback, with no relief from Treon Harris, despite broadcast reports of him favoring his ribs and elbow on the sideline — to keep Kentucky from snapping Kentucky's streak of futility.

On other days, of course, it might not be.

But on this night, it was.