JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida dominated Charleston Southern in their season opener. Next up the Gators will face Kentucky, who they've beaten in 31-straight games. Here are four things to keep in mind for Saturday's match-up.
1st Down: The Details
Matchup: Kentucky (1-0) at No. 25 Florida (1-0)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
TV/radio: SEC Network/Gator IMG Sports Network
2nd Down: The Guarantee
Florida has won 31 consecutive games against Kentucky, including a 28-27 victory last year in which the Gators overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats last beat Florida in 1986 and haven't won in Gainesville since 1979.
Florida: DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson guaranteed a victory against the Wildcats, saying the streak will "be 32 after Saturday."
3rd Down: Fixing a broken offense
Florida finished the 2017 season outside the top 100 in total offense, passing offense, and scoring offense. The Gators have not finished in the top 100 in scoring offense since 2014, have not finished higher than 96th in total offense since 2010 (when they were 83rd), and their only passing offense to rank higher than 85th after the 2009 season checked in at 79th (2016).
The good news is Dan Mullen has been through this before. Mullen inherited the 114th-ranked total offense (276.0 yards per game) and 106th-ranked rushing offense (101.7) in Starkville, but Mississippi State finished the 2009 season ranked 69th in total offense (367.7) and 9th in rushing offense (224.58)--two huge upticks.
In the Gators opener they scored 53 points against Charleston Southern. Quarterback Feleipe Franks through five touchdowns (all in the first half). It marked the seventh time in school history that a Florida quarterback threw five touchdowns in a half.
4th Down: Facts and Figures
- Only three uninterrupted series have had longer streaks than Florida's over Kentucky. Notre Dame won 43 in a row against Navy (1964-2006). Nebraska won 36 straight against Kansas (1969-2004). And Oklahoma won 32 consecutive against Kansas State (1937-68).
-Three of the past four meetings between Kentucky and Florida have been decided by six points or less
-Florida has won 13 consecutive SEC openers
- Dan Mullen went 8-1 against the Wildcats during his tenure at Mississippi State.
For more Florida football coverage, check out Gators Breakdown