Kentucky Football Three Keys: Florida


Kentucky faces Florida on Saturday in Lexington. Here are your three keys to a Kentucky win over Florida.

By Steve Wright

Florida week is one of the big ones annually for Kentucky football. It is just a shame that the game this September has been overshadowed by the patella injury suffered by quarterback Terry Wilson last weekend. This season the Wildcats host the Gators and their lofty No. 8 ranking. Let’s take a look at the three keys for this difficult matchup.

Key 1 – An all-timer from Sawyer Smith

The injury to Wilson is the exact reason why former Troy quarterback Sawyer Smith was plucked out of the NCAA transfer portal by Mark Stoops earlier this summer. Smith is not Wilson – a player who seemed primed for a monster year in the system – but he is a big-armed quarterback with some ability to move in his legs.

Smith will be relying on the Kentucky run game to get going to take pressure off of his throws, and if that happens he has shown the arm talent to move the ball for the Wildcats.

Key 2 – Keep Smith clean

The other part of the equation for Smith is that his offensive line just has to find a way to keep him clean. The Florida pass rush has been pretty insane over the first two weeks of the season. The Gators have 15 sacks and 26 tackles for a loss in their first two wins, with both those marks leading the nation in their respective categories.

Expect to see a bunch of plays where the pocket is moved to put less pressure on the offensive tackles given the pass-rushing ability of the Florida defensive ends and outside linebackers.

Key 3 – Stopping the Florida run game

The running games stats against UT Martin look great. The Gators rushed for 231 yards and put up 6.1 yards per carry. The interesting part of this, however, is that the Gators did most of their running work late in the game when the defense of the FCS school fell away. Until the last couple of quarters, and deep into the third at that, the running game was pretty pedestrian.

The best chance Kentucky has to win here is to make Florida one dimensional and force Feleipe Franks to throw the ball to beat the,

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:00 PM CT (7:00 PM ET). Watch on the ESPN Network.

This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis

GameFirst Looks3 Keys
HighlightsFinal Stats
Kansas State vs. Mississippi StateKSUMSUPreviewKSU 31, MSU 24Stats
Colorado State vs. ArkansasCSUArkyPreviewArkansas 55, CSU 34Stats
Northwestern St vs. LSUNWSULSUPreviewLSU 65, NWSU 14Stats
Florida vs. KentuckyFLA / UKUK / FLAPreviewFlorida 29, UK 21Stats
Kent State vs. AuburnKent St.AuburnPreviewAuburn 55, Kent St. 16Stats
Alabama vs. South CarolinaUSC / BamaBama / USCPreviewBama 47, USC 23Stats
SE Missouri St vs. MissouriSEMOMizzouPreviewMizzou 50, SEMO 0Stats
Lamar vs. Texas A&MLamarTexas A&MPreviewTAMU 62, Lamar 3Stats
Arkansas St. vs. GeorgiaArk. StateUGAPreviewUGA 55, ASU 0Stats
Chattanooga vs. TennesseeUTCTennesseePreviewTennessee 45, UTC 0Stats
SE Louisiana vs. Ole MissSE LouisianaOle MissPreviewOle Miss 40, SELA 29Stats
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