The Florida Gators travel to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in SEC play this weekend. While the Gators come in ranked No. 10 in the nation, Kentucky boasts a 4-0 record but are just outside the Top-25.
Florida has won 33 of the last 34 meetings and haven’t lost at Kentucky since 1986.
The following is our staff’s predictions for the Florida – Kentucky game on Saturday:
This just feels like one of those games that Dan Mullen loses every year. I do believe Florida is more talented, but that gap has gotten much tighter as the Wildcats have hit the transfer portal as hard as any team in the nation. Kentucky actually has a QB who can throw the football for the first time in a while (Will Levis). Additionally, they have one of the top playmaking wideouts in the conference in Wan’Dale Robinson. Robinson currently leads the SEC in yards and receptions and will likely play a large role against the Gators’ secondary.
Also, remember when a lot of people made a big deal of Bryce Young’s first road game environment being at the Swamp just a few weeks ago? This will be Emory Jones’ first “true” road start in a hostile environment as Kroger Field has been announced as a sell out.
The Gators have an opportunity to prove something this week against an opponent that is not as inferior as they have been in the past. The last few trips to Lexington have seen Florida lucky to leave with the win, despite a much larger talent gap. With very little confidence, I have Kentucky winning, 28-24.
Coming off a win against Tennessee, Florida has a good shot at beating the Wildcats this Saturday. While Kentucky is on a 4-0 run, they’ve conquered mediocre teams in Chattanooga and South Carolina. Florida, on the other hand, has only lost to No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide and by two points at that. Though the Gators lacked defense in the first quarter of the Tennessee game, Emory Jones and his offense picked up the pace for the remainder of the game, as they defeated the Volunteers 38-14. Atop Jones’ excellent performance, Richardson is expected to make a return Saturday. With a deep quarterback game in Florida and with strong offensive players like running back Malik Davis, I have them winning, Florida, 35-13.
Florida hasn’t lost in Lexington in 35 years, and I don’t expect them to start now. The Gators exposed some soft spots in their defense last week, allowing Tennessee a couple big scoring plays, but managed to clean themselves up and walk away with a decisive victory. We should see a similar story this weekend against the Wildcats. Emory Jones appears to be settled at the helm of the offense as he secured a 77.8 completion percentage, his best of the season. I’m sure the AR-15ers are itching to see their guy get some action out there, however, and for entertainment’s sake, I wouldn’t mind either. Florida seems to get better each week, while Kentucky has barely managed to squeak out a couple Ws over South Carolina and Chattanooga. Kentucky is liable to put up a solid fight. Historically, they always do. If Florida can keep big plays to a minimum and win the turnover battle, it should be smooth sailing. Florida, 38-10.
Florida and Kentucky will kick off from Kroger Field in Lexington at 6:00 PM on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.