Game of Week 8: Florida Visits Kentucky in Key SEC East Battle
As a reward, they face the same team that barely lost to the Bayou Bengals just two weeks ago: Florida.
The Gators are coming off an extra week of preparation as they travel to Lexington.
Florida has managed 20 straight victories against the Wildcats. Kentucky, which features the top scoring offense in the SEC, will be trying to extend a school-record eight-game winning streak at Commonwealth Stadium.
This game is a must-see for Heisman voters. Two of the top quarterbacks in the country will be clashing in Lexington: Kentucky’s Andre' Woodson and Florida’s Tim Tebow.
But the fact they’re both Heisman candidates may be the only thing these two have in common.
Woodson has racked up 1,786 passing yards, while Tebow has 1,455 yards throwing and another 500 running.
Woodson is a calm pocket passer who sits comfortably between the tackles until he finds his target. He's skilled at deciphering defenses at the line and has the ability to find his receivers before they're open.
Until he was picked off earlier this month, he'd set an NCAA record with 325 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
Tebow is a star quarterback who can beat a team with both his arm and his powerful legs. He's been dubbed “Superman” by the media, and you can expect him to live up to the hype.
The Gators employ a zone-blocking scheme, which allows runners to read the play as it unfolds rather than charging into a specific gap. Tebow’s intelligence and raw athletic ability help him to probe the defensive line for weaknesses and shoot upfield when he finds a seam.
That said, Florida’s offense isn't one-dimensional. The Gators have had nine different backs carry the ball this year, with the most successful being Kestahn Moore.
The Gators can also rack up yards in the air. Led by the dangerous Percy Harvin, the UF receivers are averaging 9.8 yards per catch.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, have excellent size on their D-line and a swarming linebacker outfit led by LB Wesley Woodyard. But the Kentucky defense has showed a lack of consistency in the tackling department, and players have been getting caught out of position at the snap.
Kentucky's entire defense must stay disciplined, swarm to the ball, and wrap up on tackles if they want to hold Tebow and Co. at bay.
The Gators haven’t won a game since they struggled against Ole Miss on the 22nd of September, nearly a month ago. After their upset loss to Auburn, the Gators played a great game against LSU but didn’t manage to secure a victory.
After a bye week to prepare for Kentucky, Florida isn't expecting to go an entire month without a victory.
The Wildcats are seventh in the nation with 42.7 points scored per game, and the Gators are 12th with 39.7.
Expect both teams to break 40 on Saturday—but the ultimate clash will be between Tebow's offense and a something-to-prove Kentucky defense.
For the first time, ESPN's College GameDay is going to be on location in Lexington for the weekend. And rightly so, as it should be one hell of a game.
Prediction: Florida 45, Kentucky 42
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