Gators Look To Avoid Letdown Against Kentucky
GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – The Florida Gators have lived on the edge for the past two weeks. Two strong second-half performances have the Gators at 3-0 (2-0 in Southeastern Conference), but the Gators may not break a sweat on Saturday against Kentucky.
The Wildcats come into the swamp after losing to Western Kentucky last weekend. Kentucky has not beaten the Gators for the last 25 consecutive games of the series, which is the longest winning streak in an annual series in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp doesn’t want to hear anything about it.
“None of those wins or losses have anything to do with Saturday,” Mushchamp said. “Zero.”
The Gators are looking to finally get out to a fast start this season. Florida has looked average in the first half of the last two games against Texas A&M and Tennessee only to come out in the second half and completely dominate both the Aggies and Volunteers.
But fast starts are something UF is used to when playing the Wildcats. Overall, the Gators have outscored Kentucky by an average of 50-9 in the last four games of the series.
Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips hasn’t beaten Florida in 22 attempts, two as head coach, four as a player, and 16 as an assistant coach.
“You had to remind me,” Phillips said jokinglyl.
But Phillips’ offense isn’t necessarily the problem, at least his passing offense. The Wildcats lead the SEC and are ranked 13th in the nation throwing the football. Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith averages 322 yards per game and is completing 69 percent of his passes.
Last weekend, UT had some success passing the ball against UF in the first half only to see the Gators defense completely shut it down in the second half. UT also had superstar receiver Justin Hunter helping out quarterback Taylor Bray.
Florida could be in prime position for a letdown after two solid road wins. The Gators have a bye week after playing Kentucky and then welcome in the second-ranked LSU Tigers to Gainesville.
“We got to keep going,” linebacker Jon Bostic said. “We can’t look at it like we’ve beaten them so many times. It’s a team that is going to line up and try to beat us as well. We can’t try to look down on them.”
No players on either side of this series were around for Kentucky’s last win over Florida in 1986, and a few coaches weren’t even born the last time the Wildcats won in Gainesville (1979).
Kentucky and Florida will kick-off at 12:21 p.m. and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.