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Caldwell relishes catching, throwing

Before he caught the first of what would be a career-high eight passes, Andre Caldwell found himself on the other end of a down-field pass.

On the Gators' third play from scrimmage, the standout at Jefferson High in Tampa lined up in the backfield behind quarterback Chris Leak. He took a pitch running to his right and spotted receiver O.J. Small deep down the Florida sideline.

"When they gave it to me, I wanted to run with it," Caldwell said. "But I saw my man open. I've been waiting for that the whole season. I like stuff like that."

Caldwell completed a pass on a similar play last season. Saturday's version was not as successful, but a pass interference penalty gave Florida 15 yards.

"I just tried to get it out of my hands and into the hands of another playmaker," Caldwell said.

Florida reached the Kentucky 23 before an interception.

Caldwell, a sophomore, spent the rest of the game compiling career highs in catches and yards with eight for 84. Both also were game highs.

His average of 10.5 yards was mostly a product of the situations in which offensive coordinator Larry Fedora chose to use him. On several plays, Caldwell lined up behind two other receivers and was the target of a screen pass from Leak. The Gators hoped he could get some blocks and turn the short completion into a big play.

He did not break one against Kentucky, but one teammate said he knows it will be only a matter of time before he does.

"It's like he's got cat speed," linebacker Earl Everett said of trying to tackle Caldwell in the open field. "He just moves so fast that even when he's getting hit, his feet don't ever stop moving. It is hard to tackle somebody like that."

As successful as most of his afternoon was, Caldwell's first touchdown continues to elude him. However, he said as long as his team comes out ahead, that first score can wait.

"I've been waiting for that for a long time, and I am very anxious," he said. "But it really doesn't matter. As long as we keep winning, I don't have to score any touchdowns. I am not a selfish person. I just want to go out there and help the team."