Almost a year ago, Kentucky found themselves 3-0 and leading by double digits four minutes into the fourth quarter against a team they hadn’t beaten in 30 years: The Florida Gators.
This week, Kentucky will play the Gators earlier in their season but will boast the same winning percentage. Kentucky has certainly faced their hardships in Gainesville, and The Swamp is, rightfully so, not an easy place for anyone to come in and expect to waltz to victory.
That seems to echo what the oddsmakers are saying, setting Kentucky as a two-touchdown underdog this weekend at Florida.
However, Joe Cox of Saturday Down South has other plans for the Wildcats.
Cox wrote that Florida struggling against the run, a recent competitive edge from Kentucky, Florida’s quarterback being unproven, the Gators’ having fumbling issues and the simple fact that Kentucky is due a victory.
While Cox makes valid points, he’s leaving out one key aspect: Kentucky’s defense.
The Gators certainly have a certified defense of their own. However, the Wildcats are loaded with not only talented players but veterans at every position.
Head coach Mark Stoops has built his team on a sound, wise defense and a running game that made Central Michigan’s defense look foolish. Kentucky coughed up the ball four times, failed to make more than a few throws from the pocket and still put up 35 points to win by 15.
The combination of AJ Rose and Benny Snell with Sihiem King on third down is likely to cause the Gators’ all sorts of trouble.
The one potential cog in Kentucky’s recipe for victory is the notion that their quarterback won’t be able to make “the throw” when it’s “that time.” While efficiency wasn’t displayed in Week one, that doesn’t mean the same performance will follow in Week two.
Many would argue that a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter last year, at home, was Kentucky’s best shot to end “the streak.”
With that now in the past, they’ll look to use smash-mouth football to beat the Gators.
Do you think this is the year Kentucky ends the Florida streak?