The Kentucky Wildcats (3-5) will look to rebound from an incredibly disappointing game against Alabama last weekend when taking on the Florida Gators (6-1).
Here are the three keys to a Kentucky victory.
By Steve Wright
Play a perfect game
It is hard going into a game where you know you have to be perfect. That, though, is the task Kentucky faces here against a Florida team that is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. While Kentucky was getting shelled 63-3 by Alabama, Vanderbilt showed the blueprint that a team needs to have any shot at an upset. The Commodores lost 38-17 to the Gators because they started fast and didn’t make mistakes. This means that Kentucky – which is a better team than Vandy – needs to also start fast. In addition, the Wildcats need to control the tempo, win the turnover battle, win on special teams, and not commit penalties to either kill or extend drives. It is a lot – and it won’t be easy – but playing against a team this hot never is.
Slow down Kyle Trask
Vanderbilt also became the first team this season to hold Kyle Trask and his Heisman level arm to last than four touchdowns in their defeat. Trask did still pass for three scores – to go along with no picks and 383 yards on 26-of-35 passing – so it is not like the Commodores kept him out of the game. He has outstanding weapons in the likes of Kadarius Toney and Justin Shorter, so the Kentucky defense will have to be at its havoc level best to have any chance of slowing the machine down.
Find some offense
We say this every week, but Kentucky just isn’t going to win games with any consistency with the offense failing to move the ball. The Wildcats are never going to be the most explosive team in the league – the offense isn’t designed that way – but Kentucky also can’t go three and out as much as it has been doing if Mark Stoops wants his team to compete week in and week out in the league. The Alabama defense is outstanding up front – but there are vulnerabilities on the back end. Even so, Kentucky picked up just 179 yards of total offense last time out. That won’t get it done here.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). You can watch this Kentucky football game on the ESPN Network.