Scouting Report: Kentucky Offense

Kentucky is every bit as good as LSU on offense with a better quarterback and weaker offensive line. Only one of their first seven opponents (South Carolina) has held them below 40 points. They have excellent balance between the run (200 yards/game) and pass (260 yards/game), although that balance is challenged with the likely absence of top runner Rafael Little.

Quarterback ----- Andre Woodson (64 percent/21 TD/4 INT) had developed into a tremendous player over the past two years. He's reached the point where he should be the first quarterback chosen in the NFL draft next spring. He's big (6-5) and strong, but not all that mobile. In the last season and a half he's been almost flawless (5,301/52/11). Woodson does a great job getting the ball out quickly and frustrating opponents' pass rush.

Running Back ----- As mentioned, Kentucky's best runner, Rafael Little (682/3 TD) has been bothered by a quad muscle and won't play. They'll go with Tony Dixon (328/3) and Derrick Locke (275/3) and they are both pretty good runners. Alfonso Smith (17-127/2) has gotten some playing time and adds some explosiveness. All four runners average at least six yards a carry.

Receivers ----- Kentucky's receiving corps is quite capable and offers a variety of weapons that is tough to defend. Keenan Burton (39/13.1/5) is the best of the group and he's a guy who will be playing on Sundays. Steve Johnson killed LSU last week and is having an excellent season (27/17.4/6). Dicky Lyons (32/105/3) is a third outside threat and tight end No. 18 Jacob Tamme (22/10.7/3) is a guy they also go to regularly. If that wasn't enough, the top three runners have combined for 24 catches as well.

Offensive Line ----- This is a unit that has gradually improved over recent years and is now a pretty solid group. They are led by a pair of seniors in center Eric Scott and right guard Jason Leger. No one up front really wows you and they have allowed a dozen sacks, but you can argue with the overall productivity of the offense. It sorta reminds me of the 1985 Gators when the skill people were so gifted the line didn't have to do very much for the unit to be successful.

Overall this is an offensive unit that provides a tremendous challenge for a Gator defense that has struggled lately. Florida gave up game winning drives to both Auburn and LSU in the last two contests and needs to re-establish itself on Saturday. One key will be getting pressure on Woodson, something that has been difficult for the Gators against all quarterbacks this year. Additionally, Florida must get back to basics with their run defense. LSU pounded on the Gators for 247 yards and three touchdowns after none of Florida's first five opponents were able to run for 100.

Those two items go hand in hand. Florida chances of pressuring Woodson will go up the more the Gators limit Kentucky's running attack and put the Wildcats in bad down and distance situations.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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