Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 87°F, 20% chance of precipitation
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)
|No. 8/9 FLORIDA GATORS||KENTUCKY WILDCATS|
|Head Coach: Urban Meyer||Head Coach: Joker Phillips|
|Record: 3-0 (1-0)||Record: 3-0 (0-0)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida -14; O/U 50
HISTORY and STREAKS
» Florida has won 23 consecutive regular season games, 13-straight home games and 15 regular season SEC games in a row.
» The Gators are 43-17 all-time against the Wildcats and have won 23 games in a row against Kentucky. That is the second-longest active streak for a major Division I school against a major opponent in an uninterrupted series. UF is 24-4 vs. UK at home.
» After squeaking out a 45-37 victory over the Wildcats in 2007, the Gators have won the last two meetings by an average of 46 points.
» After all three of Tennessee’s scores last week, Florida answered with a score of its own on the drive immediately following.
» The Gators have gone 8-for-8 in the red zone over the last two games with seven touchdowns and a field goal. Florida’s red zone efficiency is 84.6 percent on the season including 10 touchdowns and one field goal.
» UF has scored 30+ points in four straight games, the longest active streak in the SEC.
» The Gators lead the nation with 10 interceptions through three games.
» Florida has committed a nation-low 86 turnovers since 2005 and has had 24 games in which they did not give up a single turnover (best in the nation). Comparatively, Kentucky has not turned the ball over this season and ranks 16th nationally and second in the SEC in turnover margin at +4.
» The Wildcats come into the game ranked second in the SEC in scoring offense (44.3 points) and total offense (497.3 yards).
» Kentucky is third in the SEC in total defense (257.7) first in passing defense (109.7).
» Gators head coach Urban Meyer comes into the contest with 99 career wins.
» Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio worked at Notre Dame in 2001 on the same staff as Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips. Phillips took over as wide receivers coach on the staff after Meyer left to take the top job with Bowling Green. Phillips also coached with UF strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti while both were with Cincinnati in 1998.
» Wildcats running backs coach Larry Brinson played for the Gators from 1972-76 and achieved 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns in his college career.
» Both teams’ coaching staffs will wear the Coach to Cure MD patches on Saturday to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research.
KEEP AN EYE ON…
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley…who has thrown 140 consecutive passes without an interception and has a 15-1 TD/INT ratio while playing for the Gators.
» Junior running back Jeff Demps…who has achieved 150 or more all-purpose yards in each of the last three consecutive games. He is the first Florida player to do so since Percy Harvin in 2007. Demps has also led the Gators in rushing in every game this season with totals of 98, 139 and 73 yards. He ran the ball a career-high 26 times last week against Tennessee.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson…who had career-highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (83) two weeks ago against South Florida. As Brantley’s primary pass catcher, 11 of Thompson’s 13 catches this season have been for first downs.
» Sophomore WR Omarius Hines…who appears to contribute in different ways each week for Florida. Hines took a fake punt 36 yards last week against Tennessee, setting up an important and game-changing scoring drive.
» Redshirt senior WR Carl Moore…who may have had the best game of his Gators career last Saturday catching two big first downs, each of which led to touchdowns.
» Freshman QB Trey Burton…who has played multiple other positions this season including H-back, WR, tight end, fullback and special teams. He has two Wildcat formation touchdowns already this year.
» Florida’s secondary…which has intercepted seven balls this season. Senior safety Ahmad Black (three), junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins (two) and redshirt sophomore CB Jeremy Brown are leading the way for the unit with their performances. Black is also tops in the SEC with 24 tackles on the year and is the conference’s active leader in interceptions (11) and interception return yards (233).
» Sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic…who has nabbed two interceptions in three games and been a tackling machine (14 in the last two contests) for UF.
» Kentucky athlete Randall Cobb…who is second on the team in rushing with 108 yards and one touchdown on nine carries; he is also UK’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to WR and RB, Cobb plays quarterback, returns punts and kicks and is the holder for extra points and field goals. He is second in team history with 28 touchdowns and is second on the team and third in the SEC in all-purpose yardage averaging 145.3 yards per game.
» Wildcats RB Derrick Locke…who is the SEC’s leading rusher, averaging 124 yards per game. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in all three games this season.
INJURIES and INACTIVES
Probable – Redshirt senior RB Emmanuel Moody (thigh)
Doubtful – Freshman WR Chris Dunkley (hamstring)
Out – Redshirt sophomore left tackle Matt Patchan (wrist)
(Will update closer to game time)
FLORIDA ON ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
The Gators are not set to be featured in particular during ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU (hosted by Erin Andrews) and continuing from 10 a.m. until noon on ESPN. However, the analysts will certainly be discussing the Florida-Kentucky game at various points during the broadcast. Notes in the section are as of press time. Will be updated if something else is learned closer to the game.
Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats preview after the jump!
No. 8/9 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview
After emerging victories from their first road contest of the season, the No. 8/9 Florida Gators (3-0, 1-0) return to Gainesville, FL, to face the Kentucky Wildcats (3-0) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday.
Tearing through South Florida with a relentless rushing attack two weeks ago, Florida’s running game took a hit against Tennessee as junior running back Jeff Demps took 26 runs for 73 yards. Sophomore RB Mike Gillislee accounted for two touchdowns in the game, and redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley continued to play the role of game manager by completing important third-down conversions to wide receivers redshirt junior Deonte Thompson and redshirt senior Carl Moore but not overly impressing.
Completely dominating the passing games of their two previous opponents, the Gators’ secondary suffered two apparent miscues, allowing a pair of wide open touchdowns last week. Florida redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown was victimized on at least one occasion but overcame the mistake to grab an impressive interception, the unit’s seventh of the season. As a team, UF has a nation-high 10 picks.
Where the Gators’ defense shined last week – and must stand out once again – was in stymieing its opponent’s runners. The Wildcats bring RB Derrick Locke, the Southeastern Conference’s leading rusher who is averaging 124 yards per game, into The Swamp along with game-breaking wide receiver/athlete Randall Cobb. Cobb is the team’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns and also plays running back, quarterback, and punt and kick returner.
A number of streaks and records are also on the line Saturday. With 23 consecutive regular season victories and 23-straight wins against Kentucky, Florida is looking to maintain both accomplishments while also taking their 16th consecutive regular season SEC win and 14th-straight victory at home. Gators head coach Urban Meyer is also going for his 100th career win, something Wildcats head coach Joker Phillips will try to prevent him from achieving.
Catch Florida’s fourth game of the season live on television on ESPNU, online at ESPN3.com, via the radio or through OGGOA‘s live updates on Twitter.