Gameday: No. 19 Florida Gators at Kentucky

By Adam Silverstein
September 28, 2013

Location: Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, KY [Capacity: 67,606]
Weather: 74°F (feels like 74°F), partly cloudy, winds S at 5 mph
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Best deals on Florida Gators tickets starting at $46 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport)
SiriusXM: 94/200 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
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No. 19/20 FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Mark Stoops
Record: 2-1 (1-0 SEC) Record: 1-2 (0-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -12 | O/U: 46.5

KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS

Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you missed via the links below!

Depth chart | Story: Special teams not so special | Story: QB Tyler Murphy focused on preparation, leadership | Story: Ousted Kentucky coach Phillips making an impact at Florida | Story: CB Hargreaves making an early impact | Story: Can LB Fowler continue to dominate? | Notes: Friday Final

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is looking to extend its 26-game winning streak against Kentucky, which dates back to 1986. It is the longest active streak against an annual opponent but the sixth-longest such streak all time.
» The Gators are 46-17 all-time against the Wildcats with an 18-10 edge in Lexington. UF is also 32-1 against UK since 1980.
» Florida is favored by 13 points but has not defeated Kentucky by fewer than 34 points since 2007 (45-37). UF has outscored UK 238-36 over the last six games (2008-10) and shutout its SEC East rival last year (38-0) for the first time since 1996.
» Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease spent two years with the Wildcats (2001-02) in the same position. UF wide receivers coach Joker Phillilps was a player (1981-84), graduate assistant (1988-89), assistant coach (1990-96, 2003-04), offensive coordinator (2004-09) and head coach (2010-12) at UK for 23 combined seasons spanning four decades. He is also a native of Franklin, KY.
» Florida failed to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
» Kentucky has not defeated a ranked opponent since 2010.
» The Gators are 14-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards (6-9 when rushing for fewer than 150 yards). Florida is also 16-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 12-3 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 13-3 when scoring first (7-6 when an opponent scores first) and 16-1 when leading at the half (4-8 when tied or trailing at the break).
» UF is 16-1 against unranked opponents under Muschamp.
» Against the Hurricanes on Sept. 7, the Gators had two wide receivers gain more than 98 yards in the same game for the first time since Nov. 3, 2007.
» Florida held Toledo to six points in its season opener, the sixth time the team has held an opponent without a touchdown under Muschamp.
» The Gators rank first nationally in time of possession (117.0 minutes), rushing defense (55.3 yards), first downs defense (34), third down conversion defense (.189) and fourth down conversion defense (.000); second in the country in total defense (212.3 yards); and fourth in passing efficiency defense (82.95).
» The Wildcats rank sixth nationally in third down defense (.231).
» Florida has forced at least one turnover in 14-straight games.
» The Gators have forced the most interceptions among SEC teams this century (354).
» Florida has registered a nation-leading 102 interceptions since 2008. UF is also first in interceptions returned for touchdowns (16) and interception return yards (1,788).
» Both coaching staffs will don Coach to Cure MD patches on their clothes in support of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. The program, which is a partnership between Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the American Football Coaches Association, has raised more than one million dollars in six years of existence.

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!

26-STRAIGHT

2012: Florida 38 – Kentucky 0 | 2011: Florida 48 – Kentucky 10
2010: Florida 48 – Kentucky 14 | 2009: Florida 41 – Kentucky 7
2008: Florida 63 – Kentucky 5 | 2007: Florida 45 – Kentucky 37
2006: Florida 26 – Kentucky 7 | 2005: Florida 49 – Kentucky 28
2004: Florida 20 – Kentucky 3 | 2003: Florida 24 – Kentucky 21
2002: Florida 41 – Kentucky 34 | 2001: Florida 44 – Kentucky 10
2000: Florida 59 – Kentucky 31 | 1999: Florida 38 – Kentucky 10
1998: Florida 51 – Kentucky 35 | 1997: Florida 55 – Kentucky 28
1996: Florida 65 – Kentucky 0 | 1995: Florida 42 – Kentucky 7
1994: Florida 73 – Kentucky 7 | 1993: Florida 24 – Kentucky 20
1992: Florida 35 – Kentucky 19 | 1991: Florida 35 – Kentucky 26
1990: Florida 47 – Kentucky 15 | 1989: Florida 38 – Kentucky 28

LAST TIME OUT

Florida ran through Kentucky, shutting out its SEC East rival for the first time since 1996 and winning its 26th consecutive game in the annual series. The Gators only led 3-0 after the first quarter but poured it on the Wildcats in the second quarter with three touchdowns including a 26-yard interception return score by cornerback Jaylen Watkins. UF actually missed two more opportunities to score in the quarter, throwing an interception and missing a field goal.

Leading 24-0 at the break, Florida took its foot off the gas in the second half but still scored two more touchdowns with quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett pushing the ball over the goal line in the third and fourth quarter, respectively. UF outgained UK 403-219 and held the visitors to just 60 total passing yards.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Active (2): Sophomore wide receiver Latroy Pittman (suspension), freshman WR Demarcus Robinson (suspension)
» Probable (3): Redshirt junior nose tackle Leon Orr (shoulder), junior cornerback Marcus Roberson (knee), redshirt sophomore right tackle Tyler Moore (ankle)
» Suspended (1): Sophomore CB Brian Poole (first half)
» Injured (10): Redshirt sophomore running back Valdez Showers (ankle), redshirt freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot), junior quarterback Jeff Driskel (leg – season), senior defensive end Dominique Easley (ACL – season), redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose (ACL – season), redshirt junior RT Chaz Green (labrum – season), freshman CB Nick Washington (shoulder – season), freshman linebacker Matt Rolin (ACL – season), freshman safety Marcell Harris (knee), freshman defensive lineman Jordan Sherit (ACL)

* As of Friday at 9:00 p.m.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Florida
Still rebounding from the Miami loss and stuck in a rut after losing both their offensive and defensive leader to season-ending injuries in a four-day span from Saturday-Tuesday, Florida can register a feel-good win over a team it has dominated for more than a quarter century. The Gators will also be starting a new quarterback, redshirt junior Tyler Murphy, and need to get him off to a hot start considering he will be the man behind center for the remainder of the season. A victory would help UF’s confidence heading into another winnable game against Arkansas before playing away from home in consecutive weeks against top 10-ranked LSU and an improved offensive team in Missouri. A loss, on the other hand, would be absolutely devastating for a Florida team that has already been reeling for an entire week.

Kentucky
Though the motivational aspect is being downplayed, Kentucky has to be clawing at the chance to end its 26-game losing streak with a new head coach leading the way. No one is expecting anything major from the Wildcats in 2013, but a victory over the Gators would be a major feather in Stoops’s cap and a significant boost for a program that badly needs a win against a ranked opponent. An ailing and potentially down-in-the-dumps Florida may be its best opportunity in ages. Nevertheless, failing to pull out the upset would not devastate UK long term, especially considering it has two incredibly tough games upcoming against top 15-ranked South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama.

COLLEGE GAMEDAY: WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?

The video below was featured on ESPN‘s College GameDay on Saturday morning and includes a number of references to the Gators. Check it out.

2 Comments

  1. Gator boys says:

    Gators started 2005 2-0. They even got to 4-0 before bama if I’m not mistaken. Thanks for everything Adam. Go gboys

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