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Game Preview: Florida Gators

SEC play has arrived and for Kentucky it will begin in Gainesville, Florida as the 'Cats will face the Gators in the O'dome. Now up to number six in the AP Poll, Kentucky looks to pick up a big Quad 1 win against a solid Florida team.

It has been a pretty promising year so far in year two of the Todd Golden era. The former San Francisco coach took the Florida job after Mike White left in 2022. The Gators are 10-3 so far with wins over Pitt and Michigan while having losses to Virginia, Clemson, and Baylor. But they will need to be at their best to take down Kentucky because we've witnessed how great they've been all year outside of one odd Saturday game. I'm sure they are glad to have this one on their home court for a best chance scenario.

Florida is a high-scoring fast-paced team similar to Kentucky. They are also the number one rebounding team in the country. They currently average 86.3 points per game which is 13th in the country as well. The scoring is pretty balanced as they have five guys who average in double figures, with Walter Clayton Jr. leading the way with 15 per game. This game is going to be a huge test for Kentucky because we have struggled all year with rebounding so playing a team like Florida on the road will be very tough. Todd Golden's teams are known to be very physical and I do not expect this version to be any different. Be ready for Florida to test the physicality of Kentucky's freshmen early on into the afternoon.

The keys to the game are a little different than usual. First of all, we need to rebound. I do not expect us to out-rebound them but the difference cannot be more than 10. Second, the 'Cats need to be very physical. It is going to be a typical SEC road game and they are going to have to earn their occupied space. Third the Cats need to block out the rowdy fans. It is always a big deal when Kentucky comes to town and their fans will be up for it. They announced weeks ago that this would be a "Orange Out" that's already sold-out.

The game will take place on national television on ESPN at 12:30 PM. I think that as long as Kentucky continues with what they have been doing, then we should be all right. After the Florida game, the 'Cats will welcome Missouri to town on Tuesday night. After that, then travel to College Station for another Quad 1 opportunity against Texas A&M. Just take it one game at a time.



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