It’s not the first game of the season. It’s not the first test of the season. But this game against the Kentucky Wildcats (7 p.m., ESPN or WatchESPN) is going to be a point of inflection for the Florida Gators.
If they win, avenging their 2018 loss to the Wildcats and moving to 3-0 on the season, the buzz will begin. It shouldn’t be that hard for Florida to get to October undefeated if they survive this trip to Lexington, and an improving Gators outfit might be able to stand toe-to-toe with tougher foes like LSU and Georgia when it gets there.
If they lose, though? Almost all of the good feeling about this program and its trajectory will be once again in doubt — because Florida will have lost to a Kentucky team quarterbacked by a backup, without much of the core of the defense that stopped the Gators a year ago.
This one is a measuring stick, a proving ground.
I think Florida will prove worthy.
Here are 25 predictions for this week.
- Florida will score at least twice in the first half.
- Feleipe Franks will throw for at least 200 yards.
- Franks will complete a pass of more than 40 yards.
- Franks will throw at least two touchdown passes.
- Franks will not throw an interception.
- Jacob Copeland will have a gain of at least 15 yards.
- Lamical Perine will lead Florida in carries and rushing yards.
- Perine will not lead Florida in yards per carry.
- Multiple Gators will record rushes of 10 or more yards.
- Multiple Florida players will make at least four catches.
- Florida will force a turnover in the first half.
- Florida will record at least three sacks.
- Jonathan Greenard will be responsible for at least a sack.
- Jabari Zuniga will be responsible for at least a sack.
- Ventrell Miller will record at least five tackles.
- David Reese will lead Florida in tackles.
- Florida will record at least one interception.
- Florida will not force more than two turnovers.
- Florida will allow under 300 yards.
- Florida will allow 20 or fewer points.
- Florida’s defense will allow between 3.5 and 5.5 yards per play.
- Both teams will score in double digits.
- Florida will lead by double digits at some point before the fourth quarter.
- Florida will win by at least 17 points.
- Florida will defeat Kentucky, 41-21 and run its record to 3-0.
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