Florida vs. Kentucky fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Network: SEC Network
Florida (1-0) vs. Kentucky (1-0) Game Preview
For over three decades, Florida has come up with wins over Kentucky in just about every way possible.
Last season, it was a brutally painful 28-27 loss in Lexington, the year before it was a 45-7 blowout in The Swamp.
Three of the last four have been could’ve-gone-either-way close, and the six games before that were brutally ugly Gator blowouts.
And now, all of the good vibes around the start of the Dan Mullen could go flying away in a big hurry if his era becomes the coach whose team blows the streak.
The Gators appear to be good again, but playing Charleston Southern will do that. This is the first real test to see if there’s a real, live offense again in Gainesville, and for Kentucky, it’s all about about exorcising a demon.
It might have been a rough ride to get by Central Michigan to kick things off, but beat Florida, and the hopes for the season go into hyperdrive.
One Reason Why Kentucky Will Win
The UK running game has to be fantastic from the start.
The Gators have a terrific defensive front, and the Wildcats aren’t going to come close to hitting the 299-yard mark they cranked up on the ground against CMU, but Benny Snell is one of the SEC’s best backs, Asim Rose ripped off yards in chunks, and QB Terry Wilson can move.
This isn’t some finesse offense. There’s speed, but the Cat backs can get nasty when they need to. This isn’t likely to be any sort of a shootout – it’ll almost certainly come down to who runs the ball better.
UK has to hit 7-of-13 third down tries like it did last week, and the backs have to control the game. But …
One Reason Why Florida Will Win
Kentucky might have turnover issues.
The Cats clamped down in the second half, but the four turnovers and mediocre play in the passing game were a big, big issue. Of course Florida’s great defensive front is going to be all in on stopping the Wildcat runners, and the secondary is in place to keep the passing game from taking advantage of the lack of attention.
It’s Charleston Southern, but its passing game managed to complete 5-of-16 passes for three yards against the Gators. Kentucky will be a wee bit better than that, but this D is the real deal. This means …
What’s Going To Happen
Feleipe Franks, let’s do this.
The Gator quarterback situation has been a concern throughout the offseason after a rocky 2017, but Franks was solid in his debut, throwing for 219 yards and five scores as he spread the wealth around.
Last year against UK, he completed 7-of-12 passes for 85 yards and a score in the tight win. This time around, he’s going to show a solid command of the offense, won’t take too many chances, and he’ll let his running game and defense take care of getting the win.
It’s Florida vs. Kentucky. You know what’s about to happen.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Florida 31, Kentucky 15
Line: Florida -14, o/u: 49.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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