UK Football

How UK and Florida match up



Not much else needs to be said about Tim Tebow. He's not as statistically dominant as he was during his Heisman Trophy season a year ago, but he's still leading the Southeastern Conference in pass efficiency and ranks second in total offense. Kentucky's Mike Hartline earned some stripes in leading the Cats to a come-from-behind win over Arkansas last week.

Advantage: Florida

Running backs

The Gators spread the wealth in the backfield, as 12 different players have carried the ball. Keep your eye on home-run hitters Chris Rainey and true freshman Jeff Demps, who's averaging a whopping 13.3 yards per carry. The loss of sophomore Derrick Locke to a season-ending knee injury leaves UK with a three-man committee of Alfonso Smith, Moncell Allen and Tony Dixon.

Advantage: Florida

Wide receivers

Florida's Percy Harvin might be the most dangerous all-around threat in the country, and Louis Murphy and tight end Aaron Hernandez give Tebow two more prime targets. Freshman Randall Cobb gave the UK receiving corps a much-needed shot in the arm with two clutch TD catches against Arkansas. Two other freshmen, Eric Adeyemi and Aaron Boyd, will also be in the rotation.

Advantage: Florida

Offensive line

The Gators' offensive line seemed to put it all together against LSU two weeks ago after some early struggles. While run blocking has been an issue, the Kentucky offensive line has given up just six sacks in seven games, the best ratio in the SEC.

Advantage: Florida

Defensive line

The Wildcats will take a hit up front with the loss to injury of tackle Myron Pryor, but they still have enough play-makers to make the Florida front five work. Lawrence Marsh has been a force inside for the Gators, and UF also has a pair of pass rushers off the edge in Jermaine Cunningham and Carlos Dunlap.

Advantage: Florida


Kentucky has gotten solid play at linebacker all season but enters the game banged up as all three starters (Braxton Kelley, Micah Johnson and Johnny Williams) are nursing injuries. Florida's Brandon Spikes is widely considered the league's best all-around linebacker.

Advantage: Florida


The Wildcats will look to cover-corner Trevard Lindley to help bottle up Harvin, and David Jones is steady enough to hold up if the Gators decide to try to pick on him. Florida is extremely young in the defensive backfield, but sophomores Joe Haden and Major Wright have made major strides after cutting their teeth as true freshmen.

Advantage: Kentucky

Special Teams

The Wildcats will look to win the field-position battle, but the loss of Locke robs them of their biggest kick-return threat. Kentucky will need kickers Tim Masthay and Ryan Tydlacka to be on their games if they want to win field position. Florida's Brandon James already has two kick return TDs this season. The Gators also have the league's second-best punter in Chas Henry, and kicker Jonathan Phillips has nailed all nine of his field-goal attempts.

Advantage: Florida

Chip Cosby