Again, I'm going to run the predictions for each game this year in the Game Threads.
Here are my 25 predictions for Florida's SEC opener against Kentucky (7:30 p.m., SEC Network, or elsewhere).
- Florida will kick to begin the game.
- Florida will score in the first quarter.
- Florida will lead by double digits in the first half.
- Jeff Driskel will not take every snap at QB for Florida in the first quarter.
- Treon Harris will take more than 10 snaps at QB for Florida.
- Kelvin Taylor will be Florida's leading rusher.
- Taylor will not have Florida's longest run of the day.
- At least three Florida players will have runs of more than 10 yards.
- Quinton Dunbar will finally make a touchdown catch. (Yep. Still. Screw it.)
- Gators receivers will combine for more than 13 catches.
- Clay Burton will have fewer than five catches.
- Florida will score more than 33 points.
- Florida's defense will allow under 4.5 yards per play.
- Florida will record four or fewer sacks.
- Florida will allow fewer than seven plays of more than 15 yards.
- Antonio Morrison will lead Florida in tackles.
- Florida will record at least one interception.
- A Florida front seven player will force at least one fumble.
- Andre Debose will make a big play on special teams.
- Florida will outgain Kentucky by at least 200 yards.
- Florida will not win by shutout.
- Florida will win.
- The score will be Florida 41, Kentucky 13.
- We'll feel pretty good about Florida's chances at Alabama next week.
- Jojo Kemp will have fewer than 75 yards on the night.
Florida ain't losing to Kentucky tonight.
This is a good Kentucky team. It might be a bowl team, if it pulls an upset over Louisville and takes care of business otherwise. It has started this season well.
It's not nearly on Florida's level.
When I compare the two rosters, there isn't a single position where I think Kentucky has an advantage; you can extend that to the matchups, from DBs and WRs to OTs and DEs, too. The Wildcats have simply been far removed from the level of talent compilation that Florida's done for years and years.
And I'd take most of Florida's coaches over the Kentucky staff. Kentucky hosted Florida in Tyler Murphy's first career start last year, and tied that game 7-7 after a great fake field goal. Those Gators still managed to lean on the 'Cats for the better part of the night, using a limited version of Matt Jones as a bulldozer and allowing Murphy to pick apart Kentucky's defense without doing a whole heck of a lot that was special.
Those Gators were ripe for an upset. These Gators are rarin' for the night game they didn't get two weeks ago, riled up by Kemp's silly presumption of victory earlier this week, ready for an SEC game that will allow them to prove that their punishment of Eastern Michigan last week was no fluke.
They have a better offense, one that might just lean on Kentucky again. The defense is nastier than one that just lost Dominique Easley. Their special teams are special, not ... "special."
Florida is better than it was, too.
In football, Florida has been the hammer and Kentucky the nail for my entire life. And it's rarely been close.
I doubt it will be tonight.