Kentucky – Florida Preview

No running accounts of games today because I’ve got things to do and my left thumb was really sore after last week. It was listed as questionable earlier in the week, but was upgraded to probable yesterday, but we’re keeping it to limited action today. After all, it’s just Kentucky.

This game actually pits two quarterbacks who are number one and tied for number two in touchdown passes. Chris Leak comes in leading the nation with 10 TD passes (yes Tebow fans, you read that right) and UK’s Andre Woodson is tied for second with nine.

Kentucky fans were ready to fire Rich Brooks in the offseason after just two years, but he’s got things looking up this year. They won their SEC opener for the first time since the ’80s after beating Ole Miss. The offense looks pretty good, even at times during their blowout loss to Louisville. They look better than Vandy for sure, and maybe even South Carolina with how bad the Gamecocks have been. They still have Central Michigan, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vandy, and Louisiana-Monroe left on the schedule, and if the Cats can go 4-1 in those games they they’re 6-6 and probably at the Music City Bowl or Liberty Bowl. That’s an awfully good season for them.

Still, it’s Kentucky. I know they have a pulse this year, but not much more than that. Florida has won 19 consecutive games. That includes when UK had a 21-3 lead late in the second half in Lexington, and in the early ’90s when Florida committed seven (!) turnovers and still won. This series also produced the “Doering’s Got a Touchdown!” game. Urban Meyer’s offense that struggle to get 3 points against Bama last year looked like the 1999 St. Louis Rams against Kentucky last year. There’s no way Florida loses this game.

The only questions are regarding how much playing time players get. Will they keep feeding DeShawn Wynn to see if he can put two weeks in a row together, or rest him up for the Bama game? How much will Percy Harvin play? Hopefully, as little as possible so he’s fresh and ready for next week. How much will Leak play before Tebow comes in for some work? Probably at least some into the third quarter and long enough to get 3 or 4 more touchdown passes.

This is also a chance for the defensive line to get adjusted to life without Marcus Thomas. I think it will be fine, not just today but in future games too with how much depth Florida has at the position. I still am disappointed in Marcus, but it’s better he learns his lessons now while he has a college family that will be supportive rather than an NFL team that will simply cut him.

This game will also give some more insight into Urban Meyer the coach, not only in how he manages playing time but also in how well the team plays. There’s no reason to win by fewer than 20 or 30, but will the be looking ahead to the tough stretch ahead? I think probably not since there was no looking ahead to Tennessee in the UCF game. I say the Gators win comfortably, and the game will be out of hand by halftime.

As a side note, Georgia looks terrible against Colorado. Matt Stafford looks every bit the freshman he is, the receivers are dropping passes left and right, and the Bulldog defense is startlingly porous. There’s a lot of time to go, but it should be worse that the 10-0 halftime score if not for a Colorado field goal having been blocked and the Buffaloes committing a false start on 4th and inches deep in Georgia territory. This would be a really, really bad loss for Georgia.


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