Gators Can't Overlook Battered Cats

The Kentucky Wildcats come to Gainesville Saturday as beat up a football team as you can imagine. Kentucky has lost its top two play makers; Dicky Lyons and Derrick Locke. Lyons is Kentucky's top receiver and punt returner. Locke is the number one running back; number two receiver and is an outstanding kickoff return man.

Additionally several defensive starters including the top tackle Myron Pryor and linebackers Johnny Williams and Micah Johnson are listed as doubtful and free safety Marcus McClinton is questionable.

Meanwhile the Florida Gators are about as healthy as they could be. The Gators are coming off their finest performance in two years – a 51-21 win over LSU – and has spent the last seven days resting and healing for the stretch run. As a result Florida could understandably feel very confident about Saturday afternoon's contest, but it would a mistake to completely write off Rich Brooks' team.

One thing Kentucky has going for it is momentum after rallying from down 20-7 in the final six minutes to beat Arkansas Saturday night. They also may have found their next star. Backup quarterback Randall Cobb caught the two touchdown passes that won the Arkansas game and actually helped set up on of those scores with a nice 14-yard punt return.

Another Gator concern has to be the Wildcats' ability to take the ball away. Kentucky leads the SEC with 20 takeaways, including eleven in their three SEC games. Florida has been great at protecting the ball (five turnovers) all season with the exception of three giveaways in the Ole Miss game. I don't have to remind you how that turned out.

Kentucky does have some pretty good play makers on defense that Florida has to respect. Cornerback Trevard Lindley has three interceptions including one that clinched the Arkansas win. McClinton has four picks from his free safety spot.

If Florida plays anywhere close to its highest level this game won't be close, but often teams don't do that. Keep in mind this game is an early one, and early games always favor the visiting team. Crowds are later arriving for "nooners" than they are for later games and teams often seem to be equally late to "arrive". If that happens this time around this game will be a lot closer than it should be.

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