The Gators drove another stake in the heart of Kentucky fans everywhere last night with their 28-28 victory at Kroger Field, but there were some impressive individual performances from Wildcats.
Jeff Drummond/Cats Illustrated
Below are the five who stood out the most on a night where what if's hung thick in the air.
Stephen Johnson: On a night when the Florida pass show netted four sacks on him, Stephen Johnson had to make a difference with his arms rather than his legs, which he did in stride. Johnson completed 17 of 25 passes for 196 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. He was most effective early in the game, quickly taking advantage of the Gators soft coverage by hitting several receivers underneath. The senior starter also showed clutch arm strength on all his TD passes; each was a beautifully thrown ball. Johnson showed incredible poise on the game's final drive, he was patient on a crucial fourth down and delivered a strike for the first down to keep UK's upset hopes alive. Even in defeat, Johnson's impressive run under center continues.
Sihiem King: The junior speedster from Georgia seems to play best under the lights at Kroger Field. After an exceptional performance in relief of Benny Snell against EKU, King stepped up again. Florida had no answer for his shifty moves early on and only stopped him behind the line of scrimmage once. King ran the ball five times for 64 yards, averaging an incredible 12.8 yards a carry. He also hauled in a 22-yard reception in the second half. Pegged by some pundits as too small to make a difference in the SEC, King is making the case that he deserves more touches, and that size often does not matter on the football field.
Mike Edwards: The most memorable moment of Edwards' night is a missed tackle on a Florida fourth down late in the game that would have finished off a drive, which is a shame because Edwards played one of the best games of his career. He was seemingly everywhere on the field on defense. He led the team in tackles with 11 tackles, seven of which were solo. Edwards snagged the game's only interception and deflected a pass as well. Despite a painful near miss (one that echoed the struggle of the team) one has to think that his overall performance will stand tall as the year wears on.
Charles Moushey: A genuine pleasant surprise this season is the play of Moushey on special teams. So far he is name is almost always on the announcer's lips, and though he only recorded one tackle, Moushey downed a punt at the one-yard line and made it look easy. That kind of hustle deserves a helmet sticker.
Austin MacGinnis: A 2-of-4 typically does not warrant any praise outside of baseball, but MacGinnis two made kicks put him in the UK record books as the all-time leader in made field goals. Number 99 is the best kicker Lexington has seen in a long time, and his leg made the difference in two huge games last season. While his final kick against Florida came up short, it sure did look like it had a chance to answer the Big Blue Nation's prayers.