Kentucky’s Ray Davis posted a wild 33-14 win over No. 22 Florida

Kentucky running back Ray Davis (1) celebrates a touchdown in the end zone against Florida in Lexington, Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Michelle Hutchins) (News agency)

Ray Davis went wild in Kentucky’s 33-14 win over No. 22 Florida.

Davis, a transfer from Vanderbilt, had one of the best single-game performances in Kentucky history as he rushed for 280 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Davis also had a nine-yard touchdown on the punt, giving him four points in total.

His 280-yard outing marked the third-best single-game rushing output in Kentucky history, trailing only Moe Williams’ 299 yards versus South Carolina in 1995 and Lyn Bowden’s 284 yards versus Louisville in 2019.

Davis set the tone early as he went for 10 and 19 yards on the first two plays of the game. Later in the first quarter, he made a 75-yard touchdown run as Kentucky took an early 16-0 lead.

By halftime, Davis had already amassed 206 yards on the ground while Florida had just 154 as a team as the Wildcats built a 23-7 lead into the break.

Early in the third quarter, Davis would add another touchdown and continue adding to his rushing totals. On Davis’ fourth touchdown of the day, Florida had 13 players fouled on the field. The Gators still can’t stop Davis.

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In all, Kentucky rushed for 329 yards in the win. Davis’ 280 yards were the second-most rushing yards Florida has ever allowed to a single player. Only the 287-yard outing of LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price in 2021 topped Davis. In the process, Davis passed household names like Herschel Walker (238 in 1980, 219 in 1982), Marcus Lattimore (212 in 2010), and Willis McGahy (204 in 2002).

Kentucky needed a big effort from the ground attack as quarterback Devin Leary struggled, completing just 9 of 20 attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. Kentucky’s receiver drops didn’t help Leary’s cause, but it was still an uneven performance from UK’s passing attack.

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s defense limited Florida to just 69 yards on 29 attempts. With the inability to run the ball, Florida had to take to the air. Graham Mertz went 25 of 30 for 244 yards and two scores, but he also threw an interception in the first half that allowed UK to build an early lead.

Kentucky improved to 5-0 with the win and has a trip to Athens to face No. 1 Georgia next week. Florida fell to 3-2 on the year and will look to bounce back next week at home against Vanderbilt.

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