Gameday: No. 14 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 86°F, partly cloudy, winds NNE at 4 mph
Time: 12:21 p.m. EDT

TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Andre Ware, Cara Capuano) [Affiliates]
SiriusXM: 136/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: ESPN3.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(14) FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Joker Phillips
Record: 3-0 (2-0 SEC) Record: 1-2 (0-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -24; O/U 52.5

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what happened with the Gators over the last week? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

McCray making a difference | Pease evaluates the offense | Gators’ confidence growing | Quinn: Depth has improved defense | Focus the key for Florida

EXTRA CREDIT: Four things Florida must do to take down Kentucky

HISTORY / STREAKS

» Florida is looking to extend its 25-game winning streak against Kentucky, which dates back to 1987. The Gators are 45-17 all-time against the Wildcats and an equally impressive 25-4 in Gainesville. UF is also 31-1 against UK since 1980.
» Florida is 9-1 against unranked opponents and 1-5 against ranked teams since Muschamp took over the program in 2011. Kentucky is 11-8 against unranked teams and 1-8 against ranked opponents since Phillips took the reins in 2010.
» UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease spent two years at UK in the same position.
» The Gators have opened their campaign 3-0 for the eighth-straight season.
» Florida was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but has started the 2012 season 2-0 in that category with both victories coming against league opponents.
» The Gators are 6-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 0-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. Florida is also 7-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points and 7-3 when scoring first.
» UF has scored in all but one (11-of-12) quarters so far in 2012.
» Florida has converted just 11-of-41 third-down attempts (26.8 percent) this season.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 14-of-47 on third down (29.8 percent); UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 50-13 in the second half and 27-0 in the fourth quarter through three games this season.
» Florida is out-possessing opponents by an average of 7:38 through three games.
» The Gators are +3 in turnover margin through three games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (322) since 2000.
» Kentucky enters the game first in the SEC and 13th nationally in passing offense (322 yards per game).
» The Wildcats have not defeated a ranked opponent since 2010.
» UK is 9-1 under Phillips when winning the turnover margin, 3-15 otherwise.
» Kentucky is first in the SEC and 11th nationally in fewest yards penalized per game. The Wildcats have committed 12 total penalties through three games.

LAST TIME OUT

Florida captured its 25th-straight victory over Kentucky when the programs met last season with the Gators defeating the Wildcats 48-10 in Lexington, KY. It was the third-straight meeting in which UF scored 41 or more points against UK. Florida got out to an early 21-3 lead in the first quarter, piling up three touchdowns in the first 11:21. The Gators extended that advantage to 31-0 at the half thanks in part to a fumble return touchdown by defensive tackle Jaye Howard. Florida did not allow Kentucky to score in the second half, adding 17 more points including two long touchdown runs – an 84-yard burst by Jeff Demps and 60-yard scamper by Mike Gillislee. UF had three players (Demps, Gillislee and Chris Rainey) rush for over 84 yards in the contest.

Read the rest of the Florida-Kentucky preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sides of the field.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Active (1): Senior running back Mike Gillislee (groin)
» Questionable (1): Redshirt sophomore tackle Chaz Green (ankle)
» Inactive (10): Junior defensive end Dominique Easley (knee), redshirt junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb), junior DB Cody Riggs (foot), junior long snapper Drew Ferris (collarbone), redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral), redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan (shoulder), junior Buck LB Ronald Powell (ACL), freshman TE Colin Thompson (foot), redshirt junior DE Kedric Johnson (knee), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee)

* As of Sept. 22 at 11:45 a.m. (will be updated closer to the game).

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

FLORIDA
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee (#23)…who is entrenched as the Gators’ starter, a role he has worked towards achieving over four years. He registered career-highs in carries (24) and rushing yards (148) in the season opener and has averaged 6.2 yards per carry this season while scoring a pair of touchdowns in each of the first two games. Gillislee leads the SEC in rushing yards (346) and rushing touchdowns (4).
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (#6)…who was officially named the starter in week two and has shown remarkable improvement with each passing game. He has completed 70.7 percent of his passes (41-of-58) this season for 529 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers.
» Redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who is leading the Gators in receptions (13) and receiving yards (152) through three games. His 13 catches are the sixth-most at his position nationally. Reed became a full-time tight end in 2011 but missed four games that season due to injury. He has the ability to be a major receiving threat and big-time mismatch for Florida offensively.
» Junior Trey Burton (#8)…who plays five offensive position as well as special teams. He registered a career-long rush (80 yards) and reception (32 yards) – scoring a touchdown on the rush – against Tennessee one week ago, and his 158 yards of total offense is good for third-most on the team. Burton scored six touchdowns in a single game against Kentucky in 2010, setting a school record and SEC freshman record in the process.
» Senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic (#1)…who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Gators on defense. He is first in solo tackles (14) and second in both total tackles (18) and tackles for loss (3). Bostic is also one of five Florida defenders with a sack in 2012.
» Redshirt senior Buck LB Lerentee McCray (#34)…who has steadily improved each week and is becoming an impact player for the defense. McCray forced two interceptions last week, registering his first career interception and pressuring the quarterback into throwing another. He has also accounted for 1.5 tackles for loss including one sack.
» Junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (#94)…who is back to playing his natural position along the defensive line and is already having a dominant 2012 campaign. Floyd has registered a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss (out of 13 total tackles) this season.
» Junior safety Matt Elam (#22)…who has grown into his role as a leader and may very well be the Gators’ most dynamic playmaker on defense. He has 116 career tackles (75 solo, 13.0 for loss) along with four sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three interceptions already in his career.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis (#19)…who is starting for Florida for the fourth-straight season. He was one of three kickers nationally to convert three or more field goals of 50+ yards in 2011 and was named as a finalist for the Lou Groza Award for a top-notch campaign that included him going 22-for-26 on field goals and a perfect 31-for-31 on extra points. Sturgis, who has already kicked three of the four longest field goals of all-time for the Gators, is just 15 made field goals away from passing Jeff Chandler’s 67 for most in school history.

KENTUCKY
» Sophomore QB Maxwell Smith (#11)…who is first in the SEC in completions (34) and passing yards (322) per game, numbers which respectively are third and 10th nationally in those categories. Smith has completed 68.5 percent of his passes this season along with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He ranks second in the league and 16th nationally in total offense with 316.3 yards per game.
» Senior WR La’Rod King (#16)…who is averaging an SEC-high 7.67 receptions per game, which puts him 15th nationally. He also leads the league in receiving with 23 catches for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
» Sophomore LB Alvin Dupree (#2)…who always seems to be making big plays for the Wildcats. He has made at least one (sack, tackle for loss, forced fumble, fumble recovery or pass breakup) in seven-straight games for UK. Dupree has a team-high 4.0 tackles for loss, which ranks fourth overall in the SEC.
» Junior LB Avery Williamson (#40)…who leads his team and is second in the conference with 11.0 tackles per game. He registered a career-high 14 tackles as well as his first collegiate interception just last week against Western Kentucky.

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6 Responses to “Gameday: No. 14 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky”

  1. Daniel M. says:

    In Palm Beach County the game will be aired live on Comcast channel 15 WTCN. Religious programming channel if I’m not mistaken. I’ll say a prayer for the Wildcats. Go Gators.

  2. Basshole says:

    First game I’ve attended this year… Go Gators!

  3. Jrbishop31 says:

    Is Trey Burton hurt? He hasn’t played a down.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    What is the timetable with Ronald Powell’s injury? Can we expect him back in a few weeks or more like months?