Florida’s ugly loss to Kentucky causes drop in ESPN power rankings

·2 min read

Following Florida’s Week 1 win over Utah, ESPN placed the Gators at No. 11 on its college football power rankings. A week later, UF is down to No. 20 after falling to the Kentucky Wildcats, 26-16, on Saturday night.

The big story of the week was Anthony Richardson’s inconsistent play at quarterback, and the takeaway is that Florida lives and dies by his performance.

“You could say the Gators got the complete opposite performance from quarterback Anthony Richardson in a 26-16 loss to Kentucky than they got a week ago against Utah,” Andrea Adelson wrote. “As dazzling as he was in the season opener, he wasn’t effective as a passer or a rusher against the Wildcats — throwing two interceptions while running for just 4 yards.”

Credit to Kentucky, the now No. 9 team in ESPN’s power rankings. The Wildcats planned well for Florida and adjusted better. Remember, Florida got off to a hot start with three first-quarter sacks and even forced a nearly 40-yard safety to extend the first-half lead.

Had Florida won, the Gators would likely have claimed a top-10 spot in not only the ESPN rankings but the major polls as well. Beating up on USF next week will not give Florida the boost it needs to get back near the top, but perhaps a win over Tennessee in a few weeks will?

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