Kentucky (2-0) at Florida (1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Fla.
TV: SEC Network (play-by-play Brent Musburger; analysis Jesse Palmer; sideline reporter Maria Taylor)
Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, XM Channel 190, Sirius Channel 119
Series: Florida leads 47-17, and has won 27 games in a row.
Last meeting: Florida won 24-7 on Sept. 28, 2013, in Commonwealth Stadium
Line: Florida is favored by 181/2.
THREE KEY QUESTIONS
Can UK "hang around" long enough for Florida to feel pressure?
Florida, ravaged by injuries, finished last season on a seven-game losing streak — which is why no coach in the SEC is on a hotter seat than Will Muschamp. The Gators were impressive last week in blitzing overmatched Eastern Michigan 65-0. However, the negativity around the Florida program will roar back if Kentucky can stay competitive deep into the game. For UK, staying close to the Gators has recently proven impossible. In the last six meetings, UF has outscored UK 312-43 — 104-10 in the first quarter.
Can Jojo Kemp walk the talk?
The Kentucky sophomore running back, a product of Deland, Fla., spiced up the UK-UF run-up with a little trash talk. Kemp told the media Tuesday he has former high school teammates at Florida. "I'm familiar with a lot of those guys. It's going to be fun walking out with a victory and rubbing it in their faces," Kemp said. By Wednesday, Florida apparently had Kemp's words on a poster hanging in the Gators' locker room. Having made himself into one of the game's prime story lines, it will be fascinating to see if Kemp can back up his brash words with a brash showing.
Is Patrick Towles ready for "Florida speed?"
Last season, an elongated throwing motion that contributed to a slow release kept Patrick Towles from winning the Kentucky starting quarterback job. After an offseason of work streamlining his passing mechanics, the ex-Fort Thomas Highlands star claimed the UK job. Through two games, Towles has been promising (completing 61.7 percent of his passes; no interceptions). However, a blazing fast Florida secondary led by All-America candidate Vernon Hargreaves III will provide a stern test of the "new and improved" Towles.
It's wait and see. Kentucky took care of business in its first two games, beating a Football Championship Subdivision foe (Tennessee-Martin) and a Mid-American Conference team (Ohio). UK backers are conditioned to expect the worst when the Cats face Florida. So even if the Wildcats do not end their 27-game losing streak against the mighty Gators on Saturday, a quality effort in The Swamp could gin up some hope in the Big Blue fan base.