Florida football: Kentucky’s defense vs Florida’s offense

Each week we will take a look at the matchup of Florida football offense against the opposing team’s defense. 

This week the Gators take on the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday afternoon at Kentucky.

The Florida offense started off slow against Miami and then picked up fast against U.T Martin. What will they do against a Kentucky defense that has lost most of its muscle?

Kentucky Defense

Last year the Wildcats had the number two ranked defense int he SEC with Nagurski Award winner Josh Allen. They also had several players leave in the defensive backfield. One of the more inspirational players on their defense is Josh Paschal.

Paschel will be playing again for the first time this year after returning from a fight against cancer.

He will be playing mostly at defensive end and will see time at outside Line-backer as well. Not only can he cause havoc but he is a leader on this team that needs that on defense.

On the other end, the Wildcats will have TJ Carter a senior who has a lot of experience and will hold down that defensive end spot. For both these ends, the key will be penetration on the Florida line.

The Florida football front line is gaining confidence and has shown this year to be able to protect Franks. I give the advantage to the Gators O line.

Kash Daniel Is a linebacker that is one of their best. In sports terms, he is a “ball hawk.” If he does not make the tackle, you can be assured he is not far from it. Can he stop a Gator running attack that will be ready to go?

So the corners are good, Cedrick Dort a sophomore and Jamari Brown a freshman. They are not going to be able to handle the Florida passing attack. Overall a decent defense that will make you work for what you get. but they lost a lot of that power and experience.

Florida football offense

Let’s start with that passing attack. Feleipe Franks has been a steady and Pro-like quarterback so far. he has thrown for over 500 yards this season in two games.

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 07: Lamical Perine #2 of the Florida Gators crosses the goal line for a touchdown during the game against the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

He has looked shaky at times and poised as he was last week going 25 of 27 for 270 yards.

Josh Hammond, who leads the team in receiving yards with 115, and Van Jefferson who is right behind Hammond with 108 yards.

Both these guys will be paired against the sophomore Dort and the freshman Brown from the Wildcats. The pair of senior receivers from Florida will have ample experience and will prove to be too much.

I have not even gotten to the others like Kadarius Toney who has a 24 yard per average and can go off at any point (however, he is injured and out for this game). Similarly Trevon Grimes and Tyrie Cleveland, both of whom will be playing on Sundays in my opinion as well.

The Florida passing offense will be too much for an inexperienced backfield of Kentucky. I expect a big day from the passing game.

Running Game

The running game has been slow to start after the first two games with 281 yards. Even though that is about 140 yards a game it is not what the Gators were expecting.

“Some of the movements and stunts they were doing up front, I just think we kind of overreacted to,” Florida head coach Dan Mullen said, following the UT-Martin win. “If you went down and watched the film and we studied the film and I could show you, ‘Hey, you see this 6-inch step is not where it needs to be or you see his shoulder angle is turning from like a 45 to a 55-degree angle right there and that’s a big problem. Those types of things.”

Those are things they can improve on and should show this week to be much better.

Lamical Perine will lead that rush and will be helped by Iverson ClementDameon Pierce, and quarterback Emory Jones. Together with an O line that is getting better every week, the Gators should be able to handle the Kentucky D line.

Results

I will not say this will be an easy win as they are in a hostile SEC road game, but they will win. Franks will once again have a great day, have good numbers and be doubted. The running game will find daylight behind an O line that is just improving every game out.

The defense of the Wildcats will be good as that is what coach Stoops does. But they are far more inexperienced than the Gators offensive weapons.

Next: Time set for Florida-Tennessee game next week

This game goes to Florida offense. The Gators get revenge and move to 3-0.

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