Saturday, September 22, 2012
Maxwell Smith sits with injury as UK is
shut out by Florida 38-0 in SEC opener
Florida’s status as 24-point pre-game favorites proved to be too conservative Saturday as the Gators sent UK to a 38-0 loss.
Despite assurances from UK head coach Joker Phillips on Thursday that sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith had overcome a bruised shoulder, Smith did not play against the Gators due to the injury. He warmed up on the field prior to the start of the game but returned from the locker room after halftime with an ice pack on his shoulder.
In Smith’s place, senior quarterback Morgan Newton started. Newton threw three interceptions in the first half and finished the game with just 48 passing yards. UK averaged 322 passing yards in the season’s first three games with Smith at quarterback.
The game actually started well for UK with the Wildcat defense forcing three-and-outs on Florida’s first two drives. The Gators led just 3-0 after the first quarter.
Things went south for Newton in the second quarter, when he completed one of seven passes for 12 yards and three interceptions. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown. The other two were both returned inside the UK 30-yard line.
Newton’s only pass on two third quarter drives went for a loss of one yard before he was replaced by true freshman Jalen Whitlow on UK’s first drive of the fourth quarter.
Florida enjoyed a 403-219 advantage in total yards and 203-60 advantage in passing yards.
The loss marked the first time UK was shut out since LSU beat the Wildcats 49-0 on Oct. 14, 2006, and extended the program’s losing streak against Florida to 26 games.
UK is no 1-3 on the season and will face No. 7 South Carolina next Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.