LEXINGTON, Ky., Sept. 22 -- Rex Grossman threw four touchdown passes Saturday as second-ranked Florida shook off a sluggish first half to pull away for a 44-10 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Following last week's postponement against Tennessee, Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC East) struggled early and managed only 60 total yards in the first two quarters. But Grossman finally put some spark in the Gators, completing 22 of 36 for 302 yards and no interceptions.
The sophomore, who already has tossed 10 touchdown passes this year, joined Shane Matthews as the only Florida quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in three straight games.
Florida, who had only a 16-3 lead at the half, also took advantage of several Kentucky mistakes to beat the Wildcats for the 15th straight time.
Trailing by three points in the second period, Kentucky appeared to turn away the Gators, but Anthony Wajda's interception in the end zone was negated due to Jeremy Bowie's holding penalty.
Two plays later, running back Robert Gillespie scored on a six-yard swing pass to make it 13-3 with 9:48 left in the half before Jeff Chandler booted a 39-yard field goal as time expired.
In the third, Gillespie was stopped for no gain on fourth and one from the Kentucky 29, but an illegal substitution penalty kept Florida's drive alive.
Grossman found tight end Aaron Walker for a 22-yard gain down to the two. After Rob Roberts was stopped for a two-yard loss on first down, Grossman hit Jabar Gaffney over the middle to make it 23-3 with 3:27 left in the third.
Kentucky (1-2, 0-1) tried to rally as Shane Boyd threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chase Harp with 1:30 left in the quarter, but Florida erupted for 21 points in a 10-minute span.
The Gators answered Harp's score in just over a minute, taking a 30-10 lead on Earnest Graham's 50-yard run with 28 seconds left in the period.
The Gators put away the contest on Grossman's 52-yard touchdown strike to Gillespie with 8:47 remaining.
With the contest out of reach, Florida coach Steve Spurrier benched Grossman for Brock Berlin, whose first pass was a 64-yard touchdown to Reche Caldwell.
Boyd completed 23 of 39 for 203 yards.