Florida has looked fantastic early in this season. They have climbed to No. 15 in the rankings after a big 33-23 win over SEC rivals Tennessee.
They will look to keep that momentum going as they roll into Kentucky for another SEC showdown.
Kentucky has shown flashes this year, and they started off 2-0. However, they are coming off of a disappointing 24-17 loss to Louisville.
That loss may have knocked the wind from their sails at the wrong time. This will be Kentucky's first game in their brutal SEC schedule.
Where: Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky
When: Saturday, September 24th at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line: Florida -20 according to Bodog Sportsbook
Florida's Injury Report
Injury information via USA Today
Questionable: TE Jordan Reed (hamstring)
Doubtful: CB Jeremy Brown (knee)
Out: TE AC Leonard (knee)
Kentucky's Injury Report
Injury information via USA Today
Probable: G Larry Warford (ankle)
Questionable: T Billy Joe Murphy (knee)
Doubtful: DT Mark Crawford (disciplinary)
Out: RB Raymond Sanders (knee), WR Daryl Collins (knee)
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
Florida is currently ranked 15th. They are 3-0 and 1-0 in the SEC. Unless teams in front of them fall apart they face little opportunity to move up since they are such heavy favorites. If they have any chance of working their way towards the BCS, they have to win this game.
If Kentucky pulls off the upset they will catch the attention of the pollsters. However, they would likely still be a win away from cracking the Top 25.
Will Florida avoid a letdown?
Florida opened SEC play last weekend with a big win over Tennessee. Following this game they have a looming showdown with Alabama. That makes this contest one that would be easy for them to overlook.
The Gators have to avoid the temptation of looking ahead at Alabama as they must focus on taking it to Kentucky.
What They're Saying
Florida has beaten Kentucky an amazing 24 times. Florida coach Will Muschamp knows his team can't rest on past success to carry them through this game.
Muschamp, as quoted on ESPN:
"I think it has zero factor in what is going to happen Saturday night. It's a series of one-game seasons. Whatever you did the last time out really doesn't matter."
Meanwhile, Kentucky knows if they are going to have any success in this game, or in their conference, they need to have a balanced attack.
Here is their QB Morgan Newton on the subject, as quoted on ESPN:
"Anytime you don't have that running game going, it makes you seem a little one-dimensional. That's something we cannot be, especially with the teams we play. We have to be efficient running the ball, and we have to be efficient passing it."
Florida Player To Watch: RB Chris Rainey
Rainey has been simply spectacular this season. He has 306 yards on 48 carries and two touchdowns.
He is not just a threat on the ground either. Rainey is Florida's leading receiver with 11 catches for 214 yards and another touchdowns.
Rainey is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
Kentucky Player To Watch: QB Morgan Newton
Newton is a talented QB with a good arm. However, he struggles with consistency. On the season he has thrown for 466 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
He also isn't afraid to tuck the ball away and run. He has one touchdown on the ground and he also has a 58-yard run.
He is getting tackled far too often in the backfield though. He is averaging just 1.5 yards on 34 carries.
Key Matchup: Kentucky's Rush Offense vs. Florida's Rush Defense
Above we talked about Kentucky's need to establish a balanced attack. For them, that means they need to get the ground game going.
That didn't happen last week. Kentucky ran for just 35 yards on 32 carries against Louisville. That is their lowest total in three years.
If they want to keep this game close, they are going to have to have far more success on the ground. They are going to have their work cut out for them.
Florida's defense has been spectacular this season. Tennessee ran for negative nine yards against Florida on 21 carries.
Prediction: Florida 37, Kentucky 10