KENTUCKY vs. FLORIDA
WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 7:30 P.M. ET
WHERE: COMMONWEALTH STADIUM (61,000) LEXINGTON, KY.
TV: SEC NETWORK
Record: 2-0, 1-0 SEC
Ranking: * Unranked
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 9-17 (Third season), at UK: 9-17 (Third season), vs. FLA (0-2)
Series Record: Florida leads 48-17
Previoius Game: Kentucky 26, South Carolina 22
Next Game: 9/26 vs. Missouri
Record: 2-0, 0-0 SEC
Ranking: * Receiving Votes
Coach: Jim McElwain (Eastern Washington, 1984)
Record: 24-16 (4th season); 2-0 at Florida; 0-0 vs. UK
Previous Game: Florida 31, East Carolina 24
Next Game: 9/26 vs. Tennessee
BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… It’s a great matchup in the ground game as the Cats, who are averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 192.5 yards per game, face a Florida defense that is allowing only 1.2 yards per carry and 25.5 yards per game. Granted, neither of the Gators’ first two opponents (New Mexico State and East Carolina) were really capable or seemingly interested in running the ball too much, but it’s still an impressive start for the Florida D. Can the UK offensive line establish the line of scrimmage early and allow coordinator Shannon Dawson to stay balanced in his run/pass play selection? Can Stanley “Boom” Williams (242 yards, 10.1 avg.) record his third consecutive 100-yard effort to begin the season? If the Cats can’t run the ball effectively, they risk making quarterback Patrick Towles one-dimensional against one of the best secondaries in the country led by junior All-American Vernon Hargreaves III (No. 1, 24 career PBUs, 7 career INTs).
When Florida has the ball… Kentucky must be ready for a two-quarterback system featuring Will Grier (No. 7, 317 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) and Treon Harris (No. 3, 269 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT). Both have been extremely accurate this season, completing a combined 73 percent of their passes, which has helped the Gators average 46 points per game. They are also good runners, a problem which has often plagued the Cats in the past. Junior wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (No. 11, 216 yards in last year's matchup) and sophomore tight end DeAndre Goolsby (No. 30, 22.0 yards per catch) are both dangerous in the passing attack. Kentucky's linebacker corps figures to be tested early and often by Goolsby, who was praised this week by the UK staff for his ability to stretch the field vertically. How well the Cats fare against him will go a long way toward determining whether UK can notch its first win over Florida since the Reagan Administration.
Junior quarterback Patrick Towles needs only 60 yards passing to overtake Pookie Jones for ninth on Kentucky’s all-time leaderboard… With 90 yards receiving, junior wideout Ryan Timmons can become the 25th player in program history to join the 1,000-yard club… Junior running back Jojo Kemp needs just 30 yards to become UK’s 34th 1,000-yard rusher in school history.
ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
Kentucky is 7-3 all-time on Sept. 19, including a 31-27 win over Louisville at Commonwealth Stadium in 2009. Randall Cobb caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Mike Hartline to give the Cats the go-ahead score with 4:28 left in the fourth quarter.
- Kentucky has lost 28 consecutive games against Florida, the longest streak in SEC history. The Cats last beat the Gators in November 1986, a 10-3 win at Commonwealth Stadium.
- The Cats lost 36-30 in triple-overtime at Florida last season.
- UK sophomore receiver Garrett Johnson had six catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in last year’s game against the Gators.
- Kentucky features 17 players on its roster from Florida.
- A win Saturday would give UK its first 2-0 start to SEC play since 1977.
- Former UK All-American Art Still (1973-77) will be honored during a timeout in the first quarter for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.