Florida hits the road in conference play for the first time on Saturday, and they face a Kentucky team that is off to an undefeated start, though it wasn’t particularly inspiring in wins over Chattanooga and South Carolina the last few weeks.
The Wildcats have a top 10 defense, and the Gators will hope they can continue the positive offensive trend from the last few weeks, both in terms of running the ball and seeing progress from quarterback Emory Jones.
UF is the favorite in this one, but this game has proven to be tricky in recent years. Here’s how the staff of The Athletic sees this one playing out, starting with Gators beat writer G. Allan Taylor.
I’m not sure the Kentucky offense we’ve seen the past two weeks against UT-Chattanooga and South Carolina can keep pace. Florida 33-23
Here’s what Georgia writer Seth Emerson had to say.
But if the Cats pull off the upset, then suddenly it’s them and Georgia, with the Gators out of it. I could see it happening … but I won’t predict it. Florida 27-20
Meanwhile, writer Josh Kendall expects a much more lopsided victory for the Gators in Lexington.
I thought the Wildcats and their new quarterback and new offense could potentially be a problem for the Gators at the start of the season, but Gators QB Emory Jones played better last week and the Gators’ other QB, you know that guy, is rounding back into shape. Florida 40-20
Senior writer Sam Khan Jr. also expects to see a Florida win, but he’s less bullish in his prediction than Kendall is. He predicts a win more in line with Taylor and Emerson’s projections.
The Gators have yet to be held to under 244 rushing yards in a game this season; their 1,290 yards are the most they’ve had through four games in 56 years. Florida 34-24
Alabama writer Aaron Suttles is familiar with the Gators, as he saw them take the Crimson Tide to the wire just two weeks ago. He expects a comfortable Florida win, as well.
They’re proving to me they’re consistent enough to win the games they’re supposed to win. They’re supposed to win this game. Florida 28-17
It would have been unanimous in UF’s favor if it wasn’t for LSU writer Brody Miller, who doesn’t see it. He went for the bold upset pick, predicting that UK will pull off the big-time upset at home.
I think Kentucky’s run defense makes life difficult, and I think Kentucky’s offense — while still flawed — has enough spark to move the chains and make life difficult. Screw it. Kentucky 24-21
Other than Miller, the Gators have a consensus among The Athletic’s staff, and most of them expect that UF will win by at least a touchdown margin. Florida will look to move to 4-1 on the year and 2-1 in conference play against the Wildcats.
Composite score prediction: Florida 31, Kentucky 21
No changes on depth chart for Florida's matchup with Kentucky
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