7:10 pm
September 10

#20 Kentucky @ #12 Florida

Who will WIN this matchup?

#20 Kentucky Wildcats (1-0)

@ #12 Florida Gators (1-0)


Current odds:

Kentucky Wildcats: (+187)

Florida Gators: (-233)


• The spread for this game is Florida by 6 points.

• No. 20 Kentucky is expected to be without veteran tailback Chris Rodriguez on Saturday night when the Wildcats (1-0) take on No. 12 Florida (1-0) in a Southeastern Conference opener in Gainesville, Fla. Wildcats coach Mark Stoops offered no update during the week and ESPN reported on Friday that the program is preparing for a minimum three-game suspension. Rodriguez pleaded guilty at a pretrial hearing in July to operating a motor vehicle under the influence, but it is unclear if his absence remains tied directly to that issue.

• Rodriguez has rushed for 2,740 yards in his career, including 99 in last year’s 20-13 win over the Gators in Lexington, but he did not play in the opening 37-13 win over Miami (Ohio) last week when the Wildcats rushed for only 50 yards as a team.

• Kavosiey Smoke, who rushed for 32 yards against the Bobcats, will start against the Gators, who rallied to beat No. 7 Utah last week, 29-26. With transfer Ramon Jefferson and JuTahn McClain out with injuries, redshirt freshman La’Vell Wright could see increasing action.

• Will Levis passed for 303 yards and three touchdowns for Kentucky last week.

• Stoops did say that linebacker Jordan Wright, who was held out of the opener for an undisclosed reason, has been cleared to return and will be available on Saturday. The senior team captain has 106 career tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss, to go along with 12 pass breakups, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and a pair of defensive touchdowns.

• Florida rolls in with momentum after the Gators showed the kind of grit new coach Billy Napier was hoping to see to defeat Utah, the Pac-12 defending champion. Utah led four times in the game, and each time the Gators responded, with quarterback Anthony Richardson leading the way.

• Richardson passed for only 168 yards but rushed for a team-leading 106 yards and three scores for the Gators, including the go-ahead touchdown with 1:25 left to complete a 14-play, 75-yard drive.

• The Gators also unveiled another threat in running back Montrell Johnson, a transfer who followed Napier from Louisiana, where he ran for 838 yards to earn 2021 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year honors. Johnson rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries against Utah.

• The Gators rushed for 283 yards but gave up 230 to the Utes, so Napier sees plenty of areas for his team to improve, including handling their success.

StreakSmarter Pick
#12 Florida Gators