UK Football

Kentucky vs. Florida: Keys to Saturday's game

Florida (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at Kentucky (2-1, 0-0 SEC)

When: 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN

Radio: WLAP-AM 630; WBUL-FM 98.1; XM Channel 200; Sirius Premier Package Channel 217

Series: Florida has won 24 in a row and leads 44-17 overall

Last meeting: Florida won 48-14 on Sept. 25, 2010, in Gainesville, Fla.

Line: Florida by 19 1/2

The keys

Survive the first quarter

In the last three meetings, Florida has outscored UK 73-0 in the first period. For morale reasons, it would be a huge boost to Kentucky if it could get to the second quarter still competitive in the game.

End Florida's 'block' party

One reason for Florida's fast starts against UK has been blocked kicks. In 2008, the Gators blocked two first-quarter punts to set up touchdowns. In 2009, UF blocked a first-quarter punt and recovered it for a touchdown. Last year, Florida blocked a UK field-goal attempt. This season, UF already has two kick blocks. To have any chance for an epic upset, Kentucky has to put a stop to all the blocked kicks.

Keep Morgan Newton standing

Kentucky is already last in the SEC in sacks allowed (having surrendered 12) and hasn't come close to facing an opponent with Florida-level athleticism. Newton, UK's junior quarterback, is coming off the best statistical game (27-for-41 for 255 yards and two TDs with no interceptions) of his college career against Louisville. To give Newton a chance to continue his development, UK has to keep him off his back.

The mood

Is running somewhere between apathetic and angry. The apathy is worse. Kentucky could really use something to create some excitement about its football program. A big win is probably too much to ask for against a talented Florida roster, but showing some offensive improvement and playing better than expected would at least be a start in the right direction.

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