First Scouting Report: Can Kentucky finally beat Florida in Lexington?

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An early look ahead to the Kentucky Wildcats’ next football game:

The opponent

Kentucky (4-0, 2-0 SEC) will play Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) on Saturday (Oct. 2) at Kroger Field in Lexington.

The game will kick off at 6 p.m and will be telecast by ESPN.

Coach Dan Mullen’s Gators defeated Tennessee 38-14 on Saturday.

Series history

Florida leads 53-18 and has won 33 of the past 34 meetings, including 16 straight in Lexington.

Most recent meeting

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask completed 21 of 27 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns — all to tight end Kyle Pitts — as the Gators spanked Kentucky 34-10 on Nov. 28, 2020, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.

A sputtering UK offense was held to 221 total yards, 62 through the air.

Know your foe

1. After Dan Mullen went 8-1 against Kentucky as Mississippi State head coach from 2009-2017, he is 2-1 vs. UK as Florida head man since 2018.

2. In the first season after losing offensive stars Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney, Florida nevertheless entered the games of Sept. 25 leading the SEC in total offense averaging 553 yards a contest.

Where the Gators filled the air with footballs last year while throwing for 378.6 yards a game behind the pocket-passing Trask, this year Florida is doing its damage on the ground.

Going into Saturday’s game, the Gators led the SEC in rushing with an average of 336 yards a game.

3. Florida already has a bit of a quarterback controversy. Redshirt junior Emory Jones, a 6-foot-2, 211-pound product of LaGrange, Ga., entered 2021 as the Gators heir apparent following the departure of Trask to the NFL.

Through the first three games, Mullen went with Jones as the UF starter to mixed reviews. Jones entered play Saturday standing sixth in the SEC in rushing with 232 yards, but he had thrown five interceptions as a passer.

Many Florida fans have been clamoring for redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson to be installed as the Gators’ primary QB.

A 6-4, 236-pound, homegrown product of Gainesville, Richardson had run for 275 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries entering Saturday’s game with Tennessee. He had completed six of 11 passes for 192 yards with two TDs and no picks.

A hamstring injury kept Richardson out of Florida’s heartbreaking 31-29 loss to SEC titan Alabama last week. He was expected to be available against UT.

Kentucky backers will need no reminder that the past two times Florida has visited Kroger Field, a Gators backup QB came off the bench to rally UF from double-digits down in the fourth quarter to victory over UK.

Five things you need to know from Kentucky football’s 16-10 win over South Carolina

Final statistics from Kentucky football’s 16-10 win against South Carolina

Kentucky is 4-0 and 2-0 in SEC play. Can it survive a tough October slate?

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