Malik Davis
Florida running back Malik Davis runs against UT Martin during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gators Look to Improve as SEC Play Begins

Dan Mullen and the Florida Gator Football team begin SEC play this weekend with a trip to Lexington, Kentucky. Last year the Wildcats broke their 31-game losing streak to Florida in a 27-16 upset. The Gators aren’t dwelling on the past. With wins against Miami and UT Martin the Gators are hoping to keep the winning momentum going. Mullen emphasized the importance of focusing on the little things as his team enters SEC play.

Feleipe Franks

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) throws a 69-yard touchdown pass to receiver Van Jefferson during the first half of an NCAA college football game against UT Martin, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks is coming off a nearly perfect performance and a 45-0 win. Franks 25 of 27 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Franks does not have the best of history against the Wildcats. Last year he threw an interception, lost a fumble and completed only 17 of 38 passes. In 2017, Franks got pulled from the game and backup Luke Del Rio led the Gators to a comeback win. Franks will be going up against a tough front seven this Saturday.

Kentucky’s defense has not changed much since beating the Gators in Gainesville last year, according to Gators offensive line coach John Hevesy. The Kentucky defense’s biggest loss was first round draft pick Josh Allen.

Overall, Florida quarterback coach Brian Johnson says, “The Gators need to put themselves into a position to play to the best of their abilities.”

Young Offensive Line

Florida’s offensive line is young and hasn’t experienced a truly hostile environment yet this season. The Miami game in Orlando was about 50 50 with fans from both sides. This Saturday will be Florida’s first time in an electric atmosphere with nearly everyone rooting against them at Kroger Field. Offensive line coach Hevesy described the purpose and importance of cranking the noise level up at practice as they prepare for Kentucky.

When asked about the Gators offensive line running back Malik Davis described their growth as “tremendous”.

Florida is set to face Kentucky at 7 p.m. this Saturday on ESPN.

For the Gators Saturday’s matchup marks the first of a 9-game stretch with eight SEC opponents. They will have one bye week prior to Georgia.

About Maddie Schmidt

Maddie Schmidt's goal is to become a college football reporter. Be sure to check out her sports blog,

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