Kentucky couldn’t steal a victory against No. 7 Florida Saturday night.
The Wildcats had a school-record seven interceptions, and led 20-17 on Juha Leonoff’s 25-yard field goal with 1:23 left, but couldn’t put Florida away in the Southeastern Conference opener at Commonwealth Stadium.
“They had us on the ropes,” Florida Coach Steve Spurrier said.
But with three seconds left, Danny Wuerffel completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris Doering to lift the Gators to a 24-20 victory.
“It was a great job by our defensive people,” Kentucky Coach Bill Curry said. “You expect, with seven interceptions, to get more than 20 points. When you get those breaks, you’ve got to capitalize.”
Leonoff’s field goal came after Willie Cannon intercepted Wuerffel’s pass at the Florida 20 and returned it five yards.
Kentucky (1-1) ran three plays to the seven before Leonoff came in for his go-ahead kick.
But Florida (2-0) had enough time left.
Harrison Houston returned the kickoff 40 yards to the 42. Wuerffel, a reserve, completed three of five passes, the last a 12-yarder to Errict Rhett to the Kentucky 28 with 17 seconds left.
Three plays after Florida’s final timeout, Wuerffel connected with Doering in full stride at the goal line.
Wuerffel completed 10 of 22 passes for 138 yards. He had three passes intercepted. Terry Dean had four of 30 passes intercepted.