Sports Illustrated’s prediction for Florida vs. Kentucky

Florida football returns to the gridiron on Saturday night to host the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats at home in the Swamp in what looks to be a marquee matchup. The two SEC sister schools open up conference play in Week 2 against each other after opening the season with wins.

However, Florida’s win over the then-top-10 Utah Utes was far more impressive than Kentucky’s romp over Miami (Ohio), catapulting Billy Napier’s boys into the top 25 ahead of the ‘Cats. The Orange and Blue is ranked No. 19 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the AP Poll coming into the SEC opener.

The Gators are strongly favored in this one, currently sitting on a six-point spread entering game day. Kentucky won the last meeting, 20-13, in Lexington, but it is traveling to Gainesville a bit short-handed due to injuries and suspensions. That includes running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., who led the way on the ground against Florida last season with 99 yards on 19 carries.

Sports Illustrated’s staff also agrees that the Gators hold the upper hand, with all five of their voters — John Garcia, Molly Geary, Ross Dellinger, Richard Johnson and Pat Forde — picking Florida to prevail in their predictions. Last week, the group leaned toward the Utes but it seems they may have learned their lesson this time around.

Kentucky at Florida is set 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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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire