Florida vs. Kentucky
Time: 7:30 PM ET Sat, Sept 19, 2015
Spread: FLA -3.5
M/L: FLA -165; UK +145
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Kentucky Wildcats have started the season 2-0 with victories over LA-Lafayette and South Carolina, and the team will try to keep its momentum going at home with an SEC matchup against the Florida Gators. Odds at Bovada showed the Gators as 3-point favorites in the game with an over/under set at 52.
The Gators are also 2-0 and have defeated New Mexico State and East Carolina on the young season.
Kentucky ended a 22-game losing streak on the road with its 26-22 win over South Carolina. QB Patrick Towles said the team “had a party,” and that it was “a lot of fun going off someone else’s field a winner.” To achieve the victory, the Wildcats required a 98 yard return by Denzil Ware following a Pharaoh Cooper fumble.
The Wildcats led 24-7 in the game, and the defense was able to hold South Carolina to field goals on three straight red zone trips. It was Kentucky’s first win on the road since the 2010 season opener, and the team will look to build on that momentum back in Lexington today.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said “I think it is another step in the right direction. We are certainly far from the finished product, but I like where (we) are headed.”
Towles has thrown for 449 yards on 58.7 percent completion ratio with a 7.13 yard per attempt average, while posting a passer rating of 128.0. RB Stanley Williams has been a monster, though, with 242 yards on 24 carries (10.1 yards per) including a 75-yard TD rush. Jojo Kemp has also contributed 112 yards and a TD of his own, while Towles has coaxed 100-plus receiving yards from both Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker. The Wildcats have three receiving TDs and five rushing TDs on the year.
Florida has used both Will Grier and Treon Harris at QB. Both are sporting over 70 percent completion ratios and averaging over nine yards per attempt, and the tandem has six TDs between them, while Grier has the only interception. The Gators have spread the wealth in the backfield, with Kelvin Taylor, Jordan Cronkite and Jordan Scarlett all having rushed 12 or more times and having racked up some 230-plus yards between them.
Grier has also rushed seven times for 63 yards and Harris has rushed for 55 yards on eight carries from the pocket, as well. The Gators have a pretty balanced offense and have drummed up six receiving TDs. DeAndre Goolsby leads the team in reception yardage with 132 on just six catches, while Demarcus Robinson leads the team in catches (11). Five WRs have scored thus far for the Gators, while the tam has also managed five rushing TDs.
While Florida may be the more vaunted program here, Kentucky is riding some serious momentum and will be looking to notch a big conference victory at home to a team it lost in OT to last year. It would be a big notch in Stoops’ belt to knock off the Gators, and though the Cats are 3-point underdogs we’re going to expect a slight upset here.