For the 68th time in program history, the Florida Gators will take on the Kentucky Wildcats as the Gators travel to Lexington for another SEC matchup. Florida will look to capitalize off of a last second Hail Mary from Feleipe Franks to Tyrie Cleveland that gave the Gators the victory over Tennessee last week.
However, there are a few things to watch for as the Gators look to win their second game of the year.
The main focus will be on Franks to remain consistent against a Wildcats defense that surrendered over 300 yards passing to South Carolina last week. Franks completed 64% of his passes last week to seven different receivers.
It will be crucial for Feleipe to continue to spread the ball around the field. Cleveland is going to be his main target and Kentucky expects that with Antonio Calloway still suspended and possibly expecting further punishment.
In addition to Franks, the ground game for the Gators will need to get moving against a very stout run defense that Kentucky boasts. The Wildcats were able to hold South Carolina to only 54 yards on the ground last week, while Florida gained nearly 200 yards against Tennessee.
Florida is still utilizing three running backs, splitting the carries between Malik Davis, Lamical Perine, and Mark Thompson. With Jordan Scarlett still suspended, it seems that Davis will be the feature back for this game after breaking away for 94 yards on four carries last week.
Still on the topic of the ground game, the Florida defense will need to stop the running game of Kentucky. The Wildcats are averaging over 150 yards on the ground so far this year, thanks to the offensive line creating holes for running back Benny Snell. Snell has rushed for an average of 90 yards per game on the season as well as adding three rushing touchdowns to the mix.
Florida has one of the top 3 defensive backfields in the SEC but they have allowed nearly 200 yards per game on the ground. It will be essential for the Gators defensive line to push the offensive line back and alleviate the pressure for the linebackers.
Kentucky will look to continue their winning ways as they are 3-0 on the season. They have lost 30 straight games to the Gators, dating all the way back to 1986 which is the longest active winning streak in an annual series. The Wildcats will look to break the streak behind senior quarterback Stephen Johnson who has passed for 569 yards and two touchdowns this season.
With the Wildcats looking to end their losing streak against the Gators, head coach Jim McElwain will lead this Florida team into Lexington in hopes of continuing their winning ways.