Florida (@1.28) vs Kentucky (@3.5)

Our Prediction:

Florida will win

Florida – Kentucky Match Prediction | 14-09-2019 19:00

UM likely wont be ranked that high in 2019, but it is a group that will still be very good. Miami must replace three starters from their secondary, but that just means the Hurricanes will promote future star Gurvan Hall at safety while Al Blades Jr. 1 in the country in pass defense last season. and DJ Ivey have a chance to be good players at cornerback. The strength of Miamis pass defense will be their edge rushers. The Hurricanes were No. The Hurricanes are deep and talented at that spot and quarterbacks will be put under pressure when they drop back.

It will take a big time effort from guys like Lynn Bowden and the two running backs on the offensive end. The winner of this battle in the trenches will probably win the game. Florida already has 15 sacks in just two games. The big match-up to keep your eye on will be UKs offensive line versus UFs defensive front.

Florida ranked No. 17 in the country in pass efficiency defense in 2018 and the Gators return cornerback CJ Henderson, who is one of the best players at his position in the country. UFs secondary will also be bolstered by the return of cornerback Marco Wilson, who was highly regarded prior to a season ending injury that he suffered in 2018. Florida has some questions at safety to answer and UF must find a way to replace pass rusher Jachai Polite, but regardless the Gators figure to be sound against the pass once again.

But protecting him should be priority one. Inside zone reads and Run-Pass Options will still be the core of this offense and UKs success will hinge on its ability to run the ball. Smith is also a good enough athlete to make some plays with his legs. So it is not entirely out of the question for UKs offensive staff to instruct Smith to be delicate with his option keep changes.

Outlook For Week 3

Miami returns Bubba Baxa at kicker after he made 9-of-12 field goals in 2018 as a true freshman. Jeff Thomas is expected to be UMs primary return man and he is dynamic when he gets the ball in space after averaging 24 yards per punt return. Louis Hedley will be UMs new punter and the hope is that he can bring some stability to that group.

For the last year, theyve had the bad taste in their mouth of being the team that finally allowed Kentucky to break the streak, so theyll come into Lexington pissed and ready to take it to the Cats for four quarters. But the Gators are bringing their A game to Kroger Field in search of revenge for last years upset.

There are just too many unknowns for the Hurricanes going into this game. On paper, Florida certainly has the edge here, but it will be interesting to see how Miami looks on offense with a new coordinator and a new system. Freshman starters at quarterback, left tackle, and right tackle against a Top 15-20 defense in the country typically isnt a recipe for success. Edge: Florida.

To get a win over Florida, Smith will need his backs to step up. Last year, Kentucky rode Benny Snell to victory in the Swamp, but with Snell gone, the Wildcats are left to lean on Asim Rose and Kavosiey Smoke to carry the load. Both backs have performed well against Toledo and Eastern Michigan, but Florida presents a tougher challenge than a MAC defense.

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Matchup Betting Odds & Notes

On the one hand, Feleipe Franks has done a much better job of making decisions, as his completion percentage sits just under 78 percent through two games. Floridas offense was supposed to take a big step forward this season, but so far, the Gators havent shown that progress. On the other, his yards per pass is only 9.7 yards per completion, which isnt good enough to win games in most offensive systems.

UMs quarterback, Jarren Williams, is also making the first start of his college career, so there will be some growing pains. Miami does have an excellent defense, which should keep UM within striking distance for the majority of the game. This is also the first game for Dan Enos as offensive coordinator at UM, so there will be some adjusting by the players and coaches during the course of a game. Miamis starting a couple of freshmen at offensive tackle, and that development should cause some concern as they go up against a a talented and veteran Florida defensive line.

Miami has gotten the best of Florida in the recent match-ups between the two schools. UM and UF have played eight times since 1986 with the Hurricanes winning seven of those games. Florida's one win during that span came in 2008 when the Gators were victorious, 26-3, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. UF went on to win the National Championship that year.

Smith isnt a stranger to big moments, nor is he a stranger to replacing an injured quarterback, as he became the starter halfway through the season when the Trojans lost Kaleb Barker to an injury. Against Eastern Michigan, he tossed two touchdown passes, showing he could move the offense. Now they turn to Sawyer Smith, who was previously the starter at Troy. Smith became the MVP of Troys bowl game and then chose to transfer during the offseason, with his chance coming much sooner than anyone anticipated. So what do the Wildcats do now that Wilson is done for the year?

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