Big Blue Preview: Kentucky vs. Florida
Info to Know
|Kentucky vs. Florida | When: Sat., Sept. 30, 12 p.m. ET | Where: Kroger Field, Lexington, Ky. | TV: ESPN | Radio: UK Sports Network|
The University of Kentucky football program will play host to No. 22/23 Florida for its Southeastern Conference home opener Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd. It will mark UK’s first ranked matchup of the season. Despite UK’s 6-34 all-time record against ranked-UF teams, the Wildcats have defeated ranked-Gators teams for the past two seasons and for three of the past five seasons (including 2018, 2021 and 2022). Moreover, UK has a chance to improve to a three-game win streak over UF, which would be its third all-time in program history and its first since 1948-1951.
Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops, who just eclipsed 70 wins in Blue and White last weekend, also will try to claim his 50th win inside Kroger Field this Saturday, while he hopes to pick up his fifth SEC home opener win at the helm of the program.
Cat Scratches: Coen, Cats Focused on Florida
There is a different feeling around the Kentucky football team this week. The Cats face their first ranked opponent of the season when No. 22/23 Florida visits Kroger Field on Saturday (noon ET, ESPN). Kentucky is not shying away from the fact that this is a big game. Instead, the Cats are embracing it.
Offensive coordinator Liam Coen met the media following Tuesday’s practice. Coen said that UK head coach Mark Stoops laid the groundwork for the week on Monday.
“I think, it started with the attitude on Monday in our team meeting,” Coen said. “Coach Stoops set the tone and we came out and had a good Monday practice. I thought today was solid. Their tempo, their demeanor, the mentality out in practice today was mostly the right one.”
There’s a different feel to practice this week and Coen likes how the Cats have gotten the week started as they prepare for the Gators.
“I think our guys have started off on the right foot today and yesterday were a great start,” Coen said. “But we have to match that intensity and play to the standard at which we played in the Vanderbilt game more consistently.”
Coen has been impressed with what he has seen from the Florida defense so far this season…Read More
• Kentucky trails the all-time series against Florida, 53-20.
• The Wildcats trail the series in Lexington, 22-11.
• UK has won the last two games against UF.
• It marked the first time UK has won two straight against UF since 1976-1977.
• Kentucky has five players from the state of Florida on its roster:
• Offensive lineman Kenneth Horsey (Sanford), running back Henry Bennett (West Palm Beach), linebacker, Jayvant Brown (Deerfield Beach), defensive backs Jarard Mosely (West Palm Beach) and Jaremiah Anglin Jr (Lake Wales).
• There are no players on Florida’s roster from the state of Kentucky.
Kentucky vs. The Ranked
• Kentucky has played 265 ranked teams in the Associated Press poll in its history, while the Wildcats are 50-210-5 in those games.
• Kentucky has defeated a ranked-Florida team for the past two seasons and three times since 2018 (2018, 2021, 2022).
• UK is 6-34 all-time against ranked-UF teams.
• The Wildcats went 2-3 against ranked teams last season in 2022, defeating then-No. 12/19 Florida on the road and then-No. 16/17 Mississippi State at home.
• The Cats fell to then-No. 14/11 Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, in a heartbreaking, 22-19, loss and it lost to then-No. 3/3 Tennessee on the road, 44-6. The Cats played top-ranked Georgia tough before falling, 16-6.
• Kentucky has won five of its last nine ranked meetings, including No. 23 NC State in 2020, No. 10 Florida and No. 17 Iowa in 2021, and No. 12 Florida and No. 16 Mississippi State in 2022.
• Since 2015, the Wildcats are 11-15 against ranked teams.
A UK Win Would …
• Give UK its second 5-0 start to the season in the last three years (including 2021).
• Give UK its fifth 5-0 start to the season in the last 72 years (including 1984, 2007, 2018 and 2021).
• Give UK a 5-0 start to the season for the 14th time in program history.
• Give UK its third 5-0 start to the season in the head coach Mark Stoops era (including 2018, 2021).
• Give UK a 2-0 start to the conference season for first time since 2021, and only the third time since 1977 (including 2018, 2021).
• Give UK its third straight win against UF, which would mark the third time in program history that the Wildcats have had at least three straight win against the Gators.
• It would mark UK’s first three straight wins against UF since a four-game stretch from 1948-1951.
• UK its sixth-ranked win in its last 10 ranked meetings.
• Give UK its third-straight win over a ranked UF team.
• Give UK its fourth win over a ranked UF team since 2018.
• Extend head coach Mark Stoops’ all-time school records for wins to 71 and SEC wins to 34.
By the Numbers
UK players to reach at least 100 yards receiving in a game (Barion Brown vs. Vanderbilt; Tayvion Robinson vs. EKU)
Interceptions this season for Maxwell Hairston, which is tied for the most in the nation through four games
Career sacks for UK’s JJ Weaver, the most of any player on Kentucky’s current roster
Career wins at home for UK head coach Mark Stoops, who seeks his 50th home win on Saturday
Career passing yards needed for UK quarterback Devin Leary to reach 8,000 yards in his college career