Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats: Score Predictions and Takes!

Check out the Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff's score predictions and takes ahead of Florida vs. Kentucky.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Will Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask shake off his "worst" performance of the season from a week ago in Florida's final home game against an SEC East opponent this season?

It may not be easy. On paper, the Kentucky Wildcats pose a threat with the league's No. 1 passing defense statistically. At the same time, Alabama just posted 63 points on this squad last Saturday.

How does the Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff see this game going down? As always, records are not against the spread, however, this week's spread favors Florida by 24.5 points with an over/under of 60.5, per OddsShark (updated).

Zach Goodall (6-1): Florida 41, Kentucky 17

Florida owns the SEC's No. 1 passing offense this season, while Kentucky owns the league's top passing defense. Something's gotta give, and I think it'll be UK - giving up early yards and points to Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.

Trask had his worst game of the season in what was arguably Florida's most disappointing performance of the season - perhaps more uncomfortable than the Texas A&M loss - throwing for 383 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. You read that right.

If that's the worst Trask has got, I'd expect him to come out firing this week and put this game out of reach early - especially with tight end Kyle Pitts back in the lineup. In fact, I think Trask gets back on track with four passing touchdowns, and they all come in the first half.

As I said last week, should Trask have such a performance, the staff needs to ensure his health for down the line and pull him from the game. 

Defensively... this game should be no issue for Florida even considering their struggles with explosive plays. Kentucky is the only team in the SEC to not have at least 1,000 passing yards this season, and the Wildcats have played a tied-for-league-high of eight games.

Demetrius Harvey (6-1): Florida 48, Kentucky 21

As the No. 6 Florida Gators get set to kick off against the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday - if the game is to be played on time, as scheduled -, there will be several storylines to keep in mind, including the return to where it all began for Gators quarterback Kyle Trask.

Last season, Trask was thrust into the game after an injury to former Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks and simply never looked back. He has become entrenched as the team's starter and is the reason for the success the team has had on offense thus far this season. He is a leading Heisman candidate, and his program is set to go to its first SEC Championship game since 2016.

The storyline of Saturday will be to see the difference in how far the quarterback has come as he faces off against the No. 1 pass defense in the SEC. A true iron-sharpens-iron matchup, this contest will be one for everyone to keep their eyes on, regardless of the difference in record and lopsided play the two teams have had.

Ultimately, the Gators ought to get this one done and it will be the final true test for the Florida offense, an offense now set to have tight end Kyle Pitts re-installed after the No. 1 TE in the country missed the past two weeks due to nose surgery and a concussion. The final score should be heavily in Florida's territory this week.

Brandon Carroll (6-1): Florida 52, Kentucky 17

After an uninspiring victory against the Vanderbilt Commodores last week, Florida returns home to face off against the Kentucky Wildcats and the number one passing defense in the SEC. Given the return of Kyle Pitts to the lineup, I don’t think quarterback Kyle Trask and the Florida offense has any issue moving the football down the field through the air. In fact, I think they do so fluently.

However, the Gators defense is tasked with containing the Kentucky dual-threat quarterback and the man that dominated Florida in their last meeting, Terry Wilson. While I do believe Kentucky will put points on the scoreboard due to the prominent defensive issues so far this season. missed opportunities on behalf of the Wildcats' stagnant offense should result in a lopsided Gators victory, and UF gets revenge for the last time these two met in the Swamp.

Donavon Keiser (6-1): Florida 48, Kentucky 21

Florida should once again roll, especially with Kentucky being down the amount of players they are due to their COVID concerns and injuries. After an admittedly poor week of practice prior to the Vanderbilt game, I expect Florida to come out focused and once again look like the top six team that they are. 

Kentucky’s secondary is one of the better units in the SEC, but I still expect Kyle Trask to carve them up as he continues his Heisman campaign. After not getting four touchdowns last week, Trask should get back on track as he tries to separate himself from the likes of Mac Jones and Justin Fields.

On defense, Florida will be tasked with stopping Kentucky’s Terry Wilson, a dual threat QB that has game them fits in the past. Kentucky also has a very good ground game due to their talented running backs and hard nose offensive line.

Florida should handle business after a rough week last week by covering the 25.5 point spread, despite a slow start due to the early kick. 

Michael Knauff (6-1): Florida 41, Kentucky 17

Initially, I worried Kentucky could give Florida some issues. Given Kentucky loves to run the ball and plays hard-nosed defense, they could compete with really anyone. But, given that hasn’t been the case entirely this year, and the Wildcats will be without at least 18 players, there’s no reason Florida shouldn’t easily win.

How well the front seven plays will dictate this game for Florida. If they can stop the Kentucky ground game, it’ll be an easy win for the Gators. Zachary Carter and Kyree Campbell are going to be the two most important players for Florida on Saturday.

The offense shouldn’t have too much difficulty scoring, and Kyle Trask should continue his stellar season, especially with Kyle Pitts returning.

Graham Marsh (5-2): Florida 55, Kentucky 3

Kentucky is beaten and broken as a program. Plus, Alabama beat the Wildcats 63-3 last week, and the Gators want to make a similar statement after last week's performance against Vanderbilt. 

What was thought to be a tough Kentucky defense earlier in the year has proven to not be, as talented offenses have had no issue moving the ball against UK. Further, UF’s defense is steadily improving over the weeks. I like the Gators to play dominant defense against the Wildcats because UF's Achilles heel has been giving up big plays, and UK does not have the quarterback or playmakers to make such plays. 

Look for three-four touchdowns early for Kyle Trask to keep him at the top of Heisman lists and then a healthy dose of Emory Jones to finish the job late and move Florida on to Tennessee.