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Having A Two Game Losing Streak Against Kentucky Is Not Gator Football

From 1987-2017, the Florida Gators won 31 consecutive games over the Wildcats, and since 2018, Kentucky has had the Gators number. Still, they had yet to win a home game against the Gators until they finally did in 2021. Kentucky knocked off the Gators last season in Gainesville 26-16 in The Swamp. Before the Gators streak was finally snapped in 2018, there were a few close calls to the Cats that kept us at the edge of our seats and were heartbreakers for Big Blue Nation.

1993: with a winning touchdown pass from Danny Wuerffel to Chris Doering to give the Gators a 24-20 win in Lexington. This game finished with one of the former voice of the Gators, Mick Hubert's greatest calls "DOERING'S GOT A TOUCHDOWN, DOERING'S GOT A TOUCHDOWN, OH MY."

2003: This was Ron Zook's second season as head coach for the Gators, and it would also be freshman quarterback Chris Leak's first start as a Gator. Kentucky led the Gators 21-3, and Chris Leak led the Gators back from an eighteen-point deficit to win 24-21. Kentucky would get another crack at the Gator defense as Johnny Lamar picked off Jared Lorenzen.

2014: This was Mark Stoops second season at Kentucky, and the Cats were heading in the right direction with recruiting. Will Muschamp and the Gators were coming off a 4-8 season and were determined to get the offense back to Gator football. However, Kentucky had other ideas in this game, as the Gators and Wildcats would go to overtime. Gators running back Matt Jones would win the game for the Gators with a touchdown with a one-yard run for the 36-30 victory.

2017: Kentucky would dominate in the first three quarters with a 27-14 lead when the Gators made a change at quarterback from Felipe Franks to Luke Del Rio. Florida would score fourteen unanswered points to stun the Wildcats once again as Kadarius Toney and Freddie Swain would help break the game wide open for the Gators. Kentucky lined up for a game-winning field goal as they trailed by one point, but a Will McGinnis field goal would come up short as the Gators survived 28-27.

During the 90s, Kentucky was a game Florida would score at least 50, 60, or even over 70 points against Kentucky, but the tides sure turned when Kentucky started being competitive in the SEC East. When Kentucky hired Mark Stoops for the 2013 season, he wanted to show that he could build something at Kentucky and sure has in the past ten seasons with a 70-59 record. Stoops has taken Kentucky to seven straight bowl games, and he has led them to two ten-win seasons, and only a few other Kentucky coaches have been able to do that. My hat is off to Kentucky for being able to give Stoops the four years they did just to get them bowl-eligible. Many fan bases can learn from Kentucky, which only has basketball on their minds most of the time, but they are getting to be a better fanbase in football.

Kentucky has improved so much in football under Stoops, but Florida is a powerhouse football program that should not have a losing streak to Kentucky. The last time Kentucky had a winning streak over the Gators was 1976-1977, and the longest streak they have had over Florida is four in a row from 1948-1951. The first meeting between the Gators and Wildcats was in 1917 in Lexington, and it was a 52-0 loss to the Cats. Kentucky's Athletic Director at the time, John J. Tigert, would eventually become The University of Florida's third president in 1928.

Florida will meet Kentucky at Kroger Field on Saturday for a noon kickoff on ESPN. In recent years, when the game is at Lexington, it has been a night game, but it kind of works in Florida's favor, but the Gator do struggle in noon games. This is the first time that the Gators have kicked off around noon at Kentucky since 2003, and that was a 12:30 game. Florida needs to go out and do their job for all four quarters by taking care of the football, protecting Graham Mertz, and not being vanilla on defense.

Prediction: Florida wins 28-21

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