Blue Preview: Your one-click guide to Kentucky’s SEC East game with No. 10 Florida

·2 min read

No. 10 Florida at Kentucky

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Kroger Field (capacity 61,000)

TV: ESPN (play-by-play, Bob Wischusen; analysis, Dan Orlovsky; sideline, Kris Budden)

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1

Satellite Radio: XM Channel 192, Sirius Channel 103, Internet Channel 963

Records: Kentucky (4-0, 2-0 SEC); Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC)

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

Last meeting: Florida defeated Kentucky 34-10 on Nov. 28, 2020, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.

Line: Florida is favored by 7.5 points.

The story line

Kentucky tries yet again to snap a 16-game, home-field losing streak against Florida. Frustration has mounted in recent years because UK has been achingly close to finally taking the mighty Gators down before the home crowd: The past three meetings between UK and UF at Kroger Field have been decided by five, one and eight points.

The number to watch

Kentucky’s turnover margin. Defying all football logic, UK is undefeated through four games while compiling a minus-9 turnover tally. Now that the Wildcats are entering the toughest portion of their schedule, it’s hard to imagine they can continue to produce turnovers at such an alarming rate yet keep finding ways to win.

The big threat

Emory Jones. In the unenviable spot of both replacing Kyle Trask and playing ahead of Gainesville’s hometown hero Anthony Richardson, the Florida quarterback has risen to the challenges. The type of dual-threat quarterback who traditionally gives UK defenses fits, Jones is fifth in the SEC in rushing (376 yards) while completing 67.5 percent of his throws. One area of hope for a Kentucky “D” seeking to create more turnovers: Jones has thrown five interceptions.

Florida quarterback Emory Jones (5) ran for 144 yards and completed 21 of 27 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators’ 38-14 victory over Tennessee on Saturday at The Swamp.
Florida quarterback Emory Jones (5) ran for 144 yards and completed 21 of 27 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the Gators’ 38-14 victory over Tennessee on Saturday at The Swamp.

On the spot

Will Levis. After throwing five touchdown passes vs. two interceptions in his first two games as Kentucky starting quarterback, the Penn State transfer has had only one TD toss vs. three picks in the last two games. To have a chance to earn a top-10 victory, UK needs a polished performance from Levis.

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) ran six times for 30 yards in UK’s 16-10 win at South Carolina on Saturday. The Penn State transfer completed 15 of 22 passes for 102 yards with an interception.
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis (7) ran six times for 30 yards in UK’s 16-10 win at South Carolina on Saturday. The Penn State transfer completed 15 of 22 passes for 102 yards with an interception.

The mood

Is restrained. Kentucky fans yearned for the Cats to get to the Florida game undefeated — and UK has done that. But the Wildcats’ turnover-plagued performances have dulled some of the glow from their 4-0 start. As we saw when Kentucky won in The Swamp in 2018, a win over Florida would turbocharge both fan enthusiasm and national-media perceptions of the Cats’ 2021 season.

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