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SEC Showdown

The #22 Florida Gators will battle Kentucky this Saturday at 12:00 ET in an SEC showdown in Lexington. After winning 31 straight games in the series, Florida has lost 3 of the last 5, including the last two. The Gators come into this game with a 3-1 (1-0 SEC) record with a conference win over then #11 Tennessee. Kentucky is unranked, but they come in with a 4-0 (1-0 SEC) record with a conference win over Vanderbilt.

Florida will have some key players return to the lineup as Micah Mazzccua, Damieon George, Kingsley Eguakun and Eugene Wilson III were all listed as starters on the depth chart. I believe Billy Napier is gonna look to get Wilson going early and often. He plays with a different kind of speed and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. The offensive line struggled last week without the aforementioned Eguakun, Mazzccua and George being available. The starting 5 along the offensive line is a strong group and Florida wants to be able to run the ball at will.

Like Florida, Kentucky has a new quarterback with NC State transfer Devin Leary taking over for current Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis. He's completed only 59% of his passes, going 73-123 for 1060 yards. He's thrown 9 touchdowns, but also 5 interceptions this season. The Gators' defense is opportunistic and will have a chance to force a couple of turnovers. Ray Davis, a Vanderbilt transfer, is their top running back. Wide receivers Barion Brown and Dane Key are great playmakers with the ball in their hands. They also have one of the best defenses in the SEC. They're #1 in the SEC in run defense, so this will be a matchup of strength against strength.

The Gators have had one of the best defenses in the country. They're currently the #1 defense in the SEC, and the #5 defense overall in the country. They're starting to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks with Princely Umanmielen and Tyreak Sapp. Cam'Ron Jackson has done a great job with gap control and making plays in the backfield on the interior defensive line. Shemar James and Scooby Williams have been one of the best linebacker duos in the country. They're flying to the football and making so many plays. The secondary with Jason Marshall, Jalen Kimber and Devin Moore make it very difficult for opposing quarterbacks to throw on them. Freshman Ja'Keem Jackson has played really well when he's gotten his opportunity as well. True freshman Jordan Castell has played great at the safety position. He's very instinctive, knowing how to dissect plays whether it's a run play or a pass play. The defense has been one of Florida's strengths, and they look to continue that this upcoming Saturday.

Florida has shored up the kicker position as Trey Smack has taken over as the full time kicker over Adam Mihalek. There are still a few mistakes that need to be corrected on special teams, but they're starting to improve a little more each week. Ricky Pearsall had a long punt return called back due to a holding penalty. Little things like that can't happen, especially in SEC play. Trevor Etienne, Pearsall and Tre Wilson have the ability to change the game on special teams whenever they have opportunities to return punts or kicks. They're gonna continue to have chances to make plays on special teams throughout the season.

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