LEXINGTON, Ky. (CBSMiami) – The Florida Gators will debut a new starting quarterback when the team takes the field against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday.
The Gators (2-1, 1-0 SEC) will send quarterback Tyler Murphy under center for his first career start. Murphy is taking over for Jeff Driskel who suffered a season-ending leg injury during last Saturday’s game against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Murphy threw for 134 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards and another touchdown while playing in relief of Driskel against the Vols. UF will seek to put Murphy in a similar offense to Driskel to maximize his threat of running or passing the ball on each play.
Kentucky (1-2, 0-0 SEC) is looking for its first conference win and face arguably the best defense in the entire Southeastern Conference. Florida is surrendering just 212.3 yards per game and will try to shut down the Air Raid offense Kentucky deploys.
The Wildcats are tied for fourth in the conference in total yards (490) and passing yards (276.7) per game. Kentucky will have an advantage other UF opponents haven’t enjoyed. Gators defensive tackle Dominique Easley is out for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury this week.
Can Kentucky take advantage of that loss? UF is only allowing 55.3 rushing yards per game this season, how the loss of Easley in the middle impacts the defensive game plan will be key.
Odds & Ends:
Florida wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips was Kentucky’s head coach the past three seasons before being dismissed last November with a 13-24 record. … The Gators’ defense has allowed 7 of 37 third-down conversions (18.9. … Kentucky has used 14 newcomers including eight freshmen this season. … The Wildcats are in the midst of a four-game stretch against ranked schools including three from the SEC. Twelfth-ranked South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama follow.
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