Florida vs. Kentucky fearless prediction and game preview.
Florida vs. Kentucky Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 14
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
Florida (2-0) vs. Kentucky (2-0) Game Preview
Why Florida Will Win
The Gators are getting the backup.
Terry Wilson was decent throwing the ball in last year’s 27-16 win, but he was at his best on the move with a 105-yard, one-score rushing day. Last week against Eastern Michigan he was dragged down by a horse-collar tackle, injured his knee, and is out for the season.
Sawyer Smith was solid for Troy last year – hitting 63% of his passes and with a little bit of mobility – but he didn’t set the world on fire. Now it’s up to him to take over and deal with a Gator D with a talented secondary that stepped it up after a rocky-tackling opener against Miami.
On the other side, this is the Feleipe Franks game.
He struggled last year in the loss – he was the Florida quarterback who lost to Kentucky for the first time in over three decades – and had problems in the opener against Miami. Last week against UT Martin, he hit 25-of-27 passes and started to look the part again.
Florida has to have the quarterback advantage to win this on the road.
Why Kentucky Will Win
It’s not as big as losing the starting quarterback, but Florida is banged up, too. Star corner CJ Henderson is likely out with an ankle injury, and on the other side, Kadarius Toney has a shoulder problem.
Even with Smith under center, the Kentucky formula should still work. Grind the game down a bit, run effectively, control the time of possession, and keep the game manageable. Florida has more talent and better athletes, but it’s more than happy to play the type of pound-away game that fits the Cats a bit better.
There’s no Benny Snell, but the Cats are coming up with a strong running-back-by-committee approach that’s working so far. Wilson was a part of it, but Asim Rose and Kavosley Smoke are effective enough to pound a bit on a Florida run defense that’s nasty, but still needs to be tested a bit.
The UK O line will generate a bit of a push, but …
What’s Going To Happen
The Florida pass rush will take over as the game goes on.
Franks has to connect on his third down throws and needs to open things up a bit. If the Gators rely on the ground attack and a tough day from the defense, that fits into UK’s plan.
The Wildcats will put up a great fight, and Smith will be fine, but Dan Mullen can’t lose two in a row after the program owned this series for so long. He won’t, but it won’t be easy.
Kentucky will have its chances, but the Gator defense will come through in the second half when needed. It’ll take a very, very late score for Florida to finally put this away.
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Florida vs. Kentucky Prediction, Line
Florida 27, Kentucky 17
Line: Florida -8, o/u: 51
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4
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