Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Date and Time: Saturday, September 23, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY
Opening College Football Odds: Florida -2.5
Florida vs. Kentucky TV Coverage: SEC Network
The Gators have had some awfully interesting offensive moments over the course of this season.
The team scored 17 points against Michigan. Three were generated by the offense.
UF put 26 on the board against Tennessee. Only 13 of those points were under normal offensive circumstances.
If you're keeping score at home, that's Defense 21 – Offense 16 with the other six points coming on the ridiculous Hail Mary from Feleipe Franks to Tyrie Cleveland with no time left in the game against the Vols.
At least Florida definitively has a quarterback now. Malik Zaire's desire to play somewhere that he transferred to has been outweighed by the fact that he isn't the most talented quarterback on this roster. Franks is the present and the future for the Gators, and he's certainly the man in charge now. He only has 287 yards and two touchdowns in two games, numbers that are shaded after the long pass at the gun against Tennessee. But Franks also has a certain control over this offense that at least keeps the ball moving, albeit at a snail's pace at times.
It's not like Kentucky is ultimately setting the world on fire right now offensively. The team has yet to put 30 points on the board, but it hasn't had to thanks to a defense that hasn't let a team get into the 20s yet.
The Wildcats are running a heck of a lot of Wildcat right now. Stephen Johnson isn't a great passer, but he's growing up game by game in terms of his command of this offense. The pivot is averaging 7.3 yards per carry and has a couple touchdowns on the ground and through the air. If he and Benny Snell Jr. can keep this running game going, the Wildcats are going to be in this with a shout at the end.
This game is going to be decided in the A gaps for sure. The Wildcats have pounded the ball right up the middle more than any other team in the SEC thus far this season, and that's really saying something for a conference that loves to put a hat on a hat and try to run downhill as much as possible.
The UK offensive line returns four of its five starters from a year ago, and that unit broke a school record for rushing yards in a season and put two men over 1,000 yards on the ground.
But the Gators certainly have some big boys up front to be reckoned with, too. Taven Bryan might be one of the best nose tackles in America, and he's got a rotation of seven other men around him, two or three of which might be playing on Sundays in the not distant future.
Florida vs. Kentucky Free Picks
It's hard to describe the emotion that is going to be involved in this game in Lexington. Kentucky wants to win this game and win it badly. Not only is this victory going to end the hex of Florida, but it's also going to put the Wildcats in a position to legitimately challenge for the SEC East title, particularly with Tennessee already losing a game and either the Vols or Georgia guaranteed to lose another somewhere along the way.
We just can't get past the Florida offense being as bad as it is. This team was so fortunate to even have a shot against Michigan and then to beat Tennessee. If the Gators are even slightly damaged on the defensive side of the ball, they'll be impossible to bet upon at any of the best college football sportsbooks in a game like this one.
College Football ATS Pick: Kentucky +2.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Kentucky 23, Florida 20