Florida football got off to a hot start to the Billy Napier era with a huge home win over the Utah Utes in Week 1 to pull itself out of the depths of the polls up into the thick of the top 25. The victory in the Swamp came over the reigning Pac-12 champions who had also arrived in Gainesville a top-10 team as well.
After quarterback Anthony Richardson’s electric performance last Saturday, his Gators have become must-see college football heading into the SEC schedule, where the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats await them. The two schools represent the type of grueling gridiron matchup that the conference has become well-known for over the years.
USA TODAY Sports’ Eddie Timanus previewed the top matchups in college football for Week 2 with the UF vs. UK matchup among them. Take a look below at what he had to offer on the top-20 matchup.
Why watch: Nothing like jumping right into conference play. This is a huge one in the SEC East, with the winner likely to emerge as the perceived primary challenger to Georgia in the division. (Yes, we know, Tennessee fans – we’ll get to you shortly). The Gators had to work until the final minute to prevail against Utah last week, while the Wildcats had a much easier tune-up against Miami (Ohio). Florida fans were eager to see QB Anthony Richardson in action, and he didn’t disappoint with 274 yards of total offense and three rushing TDs against the Utes. He figures to be monitored closely by veteran Wildcats’ LB DeAndre Square. Kentucky QB Will Levis picked up where he left off last season with three TD throws in the opener against the RedHawks, though the RB situation remains uncertain with all-conference performer Chris Rodriguez still suspended and Ramon Jefferson out with a knee injury.
Why it could disappoint: It shouldn’t, though it’s possible the defenses will control matters and keep the flashy plays to a minimum. The personnel issues in the Wildcats’ backfield might leave them ill-equipped to exploit the Gators’ front that surrendered nearly six yards a carry against the potent Utah ground attack.
The game is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and can be watched on ESPN or heard on the Gators Radio Network.
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