For the first time since 1987, the Kentucky Wildcats enter Saturday’s matchup with the Florida Gators the winners of the teams previous battle.
The Cats broke their 31-year losing streak to the Gators last season in Gainesville when they won by a final score of 27-16. Now, they will look win their first game over Florida in Lexington since 1986.
Turning the page, both teams enter their 2019 match-up 2-0. Kentucky started the season with victories over Toledo and Eastern Michigan outscoring their opponents 76-41.
As for Florida, they won a close contest over Miami (FL) in Week 1, then rolled over Tennessee-Martin of the FCS this past Saturday. Kentucky enters Week 3 not ranked in the coaches or AP Poll, while Florida checks in 8th in the coaches poll and 9th in the AP poll.
The biggest storyline of this game will be Sawyer Smith’s first start as a Wildcat. Kentucky starter Terry Wilson, who guided the Cats passed the Gators a year ago, suffered a season-ending torn patella tendon in Kentucky’s Week 2 victory over Eastern Michigan.
Prayers up for Terry Wilson , truly hate to see this pic.twitter.com/bf4NXB6jlv— Terris Allen (@TerrisA3) September 8, 2019
Smith, a graduate transfer from Troy who has starting experience. He also has proven to come through in big games as he was named Dollar General Bowl MVP in 2018 after throwing for 320 yards and four touchdowns in the Troy victory.
Kentucky is still getting its best production on the ground, so hopefully that continues with a new quarterback under center. Getting good production from Kavosiey Smoke, A.J. Rose and Chris Rodriguez will make life a lot easier on Smith as he faces a Gators team that ranked ninth nationally in total defense.
Kentucky football in national rankings: pic.twitter.com/W9ZUwWu5fx— John Clay (@johnclayiv) September 8, 2019
As for Florida, they also come to town with some key injuries as star receiver Kadarius Toney and top cornerback CJ Henderson both banged up and could be out this week.
It won’t be easy but despite Wilson being out the Cats still, have a shot to take down the No. 9 Gators and start their own winning streak between these two rivals.
Game: Florida Gators (2-0) at Kentucky Wildcats (2-0)
Location: Kroger Field Lexington, Kentucky
Start Time: 7:00 Eastern/6:00 Central on Sept 14, 2019
TV Info: ESPN
Odds: Florida opened as a 10-point favorite, according to BetOnline. ESPN FPI gives Florida a 66.4% chance of winning.