The Kentucky Wildcats are fresh into the fire in Week 2 as they travel to Gainesville to take on the 1-0 Florida Gators.
This will be the first SEC matchup for both teams, as the Cats and the Gators were able to dispatch of Central Michigan and Charleston Southern.
UK’s defense and running game were the highlights of their win over the Chippewas. Benny Snell and AJ Rose were able to provide a one/two punch that gave the Cats 298 yards of rushing between them. Kash Daniel and Josh Allen were studs on a deep and veteran defensive unit.
There were still questions about Terry Wilson and Gunnar Hoak at the QB position. The O-Line looked stronger as the game went on but the Florida defense will be a much different animal than the one UK saw against Central Michigan.
Kentucky’s wide receiving core was pretty much non-existent outside of David Bouvier. Lynn Bowden, Josh Ali, and Dorian Baker each had some catches but nobody really stood out as a big play threat.
The Gators won 53-6 in Dan Mullen’s debut as head coach and looked like the dominating Florida of old. Feleipe Franks looked like a totally different player under the coaching of Mullen. He passed for 219 yards and five touchdowns.
The Gators running game was only able to gain 203 yards against Charleston Southern, They were able to pass all over them with 241 yards between the wide receivers. Nobody went over 100 yards as the ball was distributed rather evenly.
Charleston Southern was able to run for 222 yards against the Gators defense so that bodes well for the Kentucky offense.
We are going to find out more about these teams Saturday when they face off.
There’s actually one early prediction in favor of Kentucky. As of Sunday, TeamRankings is projecting a narrow win in Gainesville:
However, it’s safe to assume Florida is going to be at least a touchdown favorite at home this week. Between the streak, Dan Mullen’s record vs Kentucky and how much Kentucky struggled to get going vs Central Michigan, it won’t be a shock if Kentucky is a double-digit underdog, but they have the firepower to push the Gators in Gainesville.
In fact, the early game line for this matchup has Florida favored by 15. That’s actually a notable game line for Florida, who has gotten all they can handle from Kentucky in most of their clashes at Kroger Field since 2012:
Florida opens as a 15-point favorite hosting Kentucky in The Swamp. The #Gators have not lost to UK since 1986, but UF has also only won by 15+ once since 2012.— OnlyGators.com Florida Gators news (@onlygators) September 2, 2018
During that span, Florida has just one double-digit win at Kentucky, which came in Mark Stoops’ first season. The other two games have been within one touchdown, including last year’s one-point loss. Kentucky also had a narrow overtime loss at Florida in 2014.
We have an entire week to talk about 1986. Let’s start now.
Kentucky Wildcats (1-0) at Florida Gators (1-0)
Location: The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida
Start Time: 7:30 PM Eastern/6:30 Central on Sept 8, 2018
TV Station: SEC Network
Postgame Coverage: I’ll have the postgame coverage on ESPN 680 in Louisville immediately after the game.