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Kentucky vs. Florida game glance, odds and an early prediction

Can the Cats knock off the Gators for the second-straight year?

Carrington Valentine Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

Week one is in the books for the Kentucky Wildcats, as they start the season off with a win over the Miami (OH) RedHawks to move to 1-0 on the year.

With some questions answered, and some more concerns popping up after last night's victory, the focus inside the football training facility turns to the Florida Gators in Gainesville on Saturday night.

That brings up the question; can Kentucky knock off Florida for a second straight season?

Long story short, it might be a closer game than we all expected.

The early odds from DraftKings Sportsbook have Florida favored by five points. While Kentucky entered the season ranked in the top 25 while Florida was unranked, that will change following the Gators’ win over No. 7 Utah. This almost certainly will be a top-25 clash in Week 2.

For Kentucky, it was Will Levis and the skill talent that stole the show against the RedHawks, in particular the play of Virginia Tech transfer, Tayvion Robinson. The dynamic duo showed the BBN early that the chemistry between the two is there, and that Robinson may be his go-to target when the team needs a big play.

Unfortunately that means that the Gator defense is going to pay special attention to Robinson as well. Look for Rich Scangarello to get Dane Key and Barion Brown as many drawn up touches as he can early and often on Saturday to help build early confidence in both players first road game.

The main concern going into Gainesville however will be the play of the running back room and the offensive line.

Let’s first start with the running backs. With the absence of Chris Rodriguez in Saturday night's game, everyone expected a drop-off, but I don't think anyone expected the struggles we saw from the group as a whole. On the night Kavosiey Smoke led the rushing attack with seven carries for 32 yards, while the other trio of Ramon Jefferson, JuTahn McClain, and La’Vell Wright all combined for 11 carries and a total of 36 yards. That just won't be enough to help push the Cats over the top at Florida.

It is also fair to mention we saw both Jefferson and McClain leave the game with injuries on Saturday night, which just adds to the intrigue for who takes the field in Gainesville.

For the offensive-line, it seemed their youth played a huge role against the RedHawks. After giving up four sacks on the night, the question now changes to; can they hold up against SEC talent?

It will be interesting to see, but Zach Yenser has his work cut out for him this week as he tries to help the young O-line process through the different schemes and stunt recognition they will need to see against the Gators.

Defensively, it comes to down to can the Cats contain the run game.

Against Utah the Gators rushed for 283 yards on 39 carries being led by Anthony Richardson who had 11 carries for 106 yards and three touchdowns.

With that said, it is going to be a battle on Saturday night. Here is to hoping the Cats can live up to the preseason hype, and knock off the Gators once again.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats (1-0, 0-0) at Florida Gators (1-0, 0-0)

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL

Start Time: 7 pm ET/ 6pm CT on September 10th

TV Channel: ESPN

Online Stream: WatchESPN

Odds: Florida is currently a 5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Early Prediction: TeamRankings is currently projecting a 27-24 win for the home team.