top of page

Kentucky football vs. Florida preview: Wildcats face tall task of traveling into the Swamp

Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky football has a primetime matchup Saturday in Gainesville. The Cats will travel into the swamps faced with the task of taking down No. 12 Florida, fresh off a win against Utah, at the time ranked #7 in the country. Earlier this week, Florida announced the game was officially sold out.

Earlier today, Kentucky received word from the NCAA that outside linebacker Jordan Wright will be available to play immediately. Both Wright and star running back Chris Rodriguez were held out of last week's matchup with Miami (OH). The NCAA has not yet given Rodriguez the go yet, so the belief continues to be he will make his season debut in a couple weeks. On the bright side, Jordan Wright will give the Cats much needed depth and playmaking to stop the elusive Florida quarterback, Anthony Richardson.

This week's top-20 matchup will feature a battle of elite quarterbacks. NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay recently released his early 2023 draft quarterback rankings, where he had Will Levis No. 3 overall and Anthony Richardson No. 5 overall. The matchup should be nothing short of a star-studded quarterback battle.


No. 20 Kentucky @ No. 12 Florida: What to watch

  1. Kentucky's Defense. Last week against Miami (OH), Kentucky only gave up one touchdown during Miami Ohio's opening drive but there were times when Kentucky allowed All-MAC quarterback Brett Gabbert to extend their drives with his mobility. Kentucky will face a similar situation on Saturday, with Anthony Richardson having the ability to capitalize through the air or on the ground, it will take a stellar performance on the defensive side to win.

  2. Kentucky's inexperienced receiving group. Kentucky starts two true freshmen at receiver: Barion Brown and Dane Key. Brown took home SEC special teams player of the week with the kick return he took to the house (Fun fact: first kick return touchdown in the Mark Stoops era) and Dane Key caught four passes for 53 yards and added in a touchdown as well. Don't get me wrong, the wide receiver group has major talent, but these two going in front of a sold-out Swamp for their second career game raises a question mark as to how they make perform.

  3. Kentucky's O-Line. With a mostly new offensive line this year, Kentucky has to re-earn their title of the Big Blue Wall, and Saturday is a great opportunity to do so. Last week against Miami OH, Will Levis was sacked four times and Miami OH added in another four tackles for loss. Along with those two eye-opening stats, it looked like Will Levis had to hurry up far too often than you'd expect. Against Florida, Kentucky's O-Line needs to create time for Levis and avoid giving up huge defensive plays for Florida.


Photo credit: Matt Stone - Courrier Journal

Staff Predictions:

Jake: Kentucky 24 | 21 Florida

Sully: Kentucky 31 | 24 Florida

Parker: Kentucky 31 | 24 Florida

Connor: Florida 27 | 21 Kentucky

Carson: Florida 35 | 24 Kentucky

How to watch:

When: Saturday, September 10

Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern


Kentucky @ Florida odds:

Line: Florida -6.5

O/U: 51.5

Moneyline: FLA -235 | UK +192

FPI pick: Florida 54.8%

The top-20 matchup will prove to be a pivotal game in the race for the East, and will nonetheless be a huge victory for either side.

127 views0 comments
bottom of page