After back-to-back thrilling road wins to open SEC play, the No. 14 undefeated Gators are finally coming home.
The Florida Gators (3-0, 2-0 SEC) return to the Swamp for the first time since the season-opener this Saturday when the Gators host Kentucky (1-2, 0-0 SEC), playing its SEC opener. Although Florida sits with a perfect record, none of their victories have come easy. The Gators were tested on opening day against Bowling Green before pulling out a 27-14 victory, and they trailed at halftime in both of their conference games before coming back to beat Texas A&M (20-17) and Tennessee (37-20). They have now outscored their opponents 50-13 in the second half this year, including 27-0 in the fourth quarter.
Florida currently owns a 25-game win-streak against Kentucky. It marks the longest active win-streak in the nation in a current series against a major conference opponent. The last win for Kentucky came in 1986 (10-3 in Lexington).
“I know what it takes to win in this league,” Florida head coach Will Muschamp said after the Tennessee win. “You better be able to run the football in this league. You can’t drop back and throw the ball every down in this league. They have bought in 100 percent, our players have bought in 100 percent and when you have a buy-in like that it makes it easy — and now they’ve seen the results. Even after the first week, after everyone was so upset about Bowling Green, we got what we wanted. The formula was going to be fine.”
The Gators will continue to look for growth and progress from sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel who combined for 300 yards of total offense last week and was named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week. On the ground Mike Gillislee continues to be a workhorse and leads the SEC in rushing with 346 yards to go along with four touchdowns.
I look for Florida to come out and really take control of the game early by running the football. The Gators ran for 336 yards last week, and they will try and duplicate that against the Wildcats. That’s Muschamp’s 2012 MO.
Prediction: Florida: 47 Kentucky: 6
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Written by Mackenzie Thirkill