Trevor Etienne carries the ball in the Gator football team's 22-7 victory over Charlotte on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Vasquez.

Florida Set for First SEC Road Game Against Kentucky

The No. 22 Florida Gators football team travels to Kentucky for an SEC East showdown. This marks the second conference game for both teams following successful SEC debuts.

After defeating the Charlotte 49ers in Week 4, the Gators (3-1, 1-0 SEC) rose in the AP rankings. In contrast, Kentucky (4-0, 1-0) has yet to earn a ranking in the poll.

Although Florida and Kentucky are not traditional rivals, they share a long matchup history in college football. In 2018, Kentucky secured a historic victory, ending Florida’s 31-game winning streak in the series. The streak, stretching from 1987 to 2017, was one of college football’s longest consecutive winning streaks against a single opponent.

UK enters not having faced a team with a winning record. Florida’s only loss this season was to two-time reigning Pac-12 champion Utah in Week 1.

Closer Look at the Key Contributors

Florida and Kentucky both have transfer quarterbacks under center. The Gators have been successful with Graham Mertz, a former starter at Wisconsin. He has completed 77.8% of his passes and averaged a solid 11 yards per attempt in the last two games. Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary, a former NC State starter, hasn’t been as successful. He has matched his career high for interceptions in a season with five and has a 60% pass completion rate. However, Leary has thrown for nine touchdowns, which is five more than Mertz’s four.

Florida’s offense will provide a challenge to the Kentucky defense. Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson Jr. are two strong running backs for the Gators. Etienne and Johnson have combined to rush for 135 yards per game on 23.7 attempts.

For Kentucky, their ground game is led by running back Ray Davis, who has recorded 314 yards on the ground with five rushing touchdowns.

Game Time

Kickoff is set for noon Saturday (ESPN and ESPN 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF) t Kroger Field. 

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