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3 Bold Predictions for Florida vs Kentucky SEC Matchup

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Conrad #87 of the Kentucky Wildcats leaps over Marco Wilson #3 of the Florida Gators during the game at Kroger Field on September 23, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Mark Stoops and Kentucky will have to try and replicate the magic of their 2018 season without star quarterback Terry Wilson, who is now lost for the year with a torn patellar tendon in his knee. Their first matchup with Sawyer Smith behind center comes against Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators-- the team the Cats shockingly beat last year in Gainesville to break a three-decade losing streak in this series.

1. Florida Runs For 200+ Yards

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 07: Lamical Perine #2 of the Florida Gators crosses the goal line for a touchdown during the game against the Tennessee Martin Skyhawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Tennessee-Martin v Florida | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Gators' running game has been inconsistent over the first two games of the season, with Lamical Perine's 93 yards leading the team the team. UK's defense is still reeling from the loss of their entire secondary from a year ago, which included two run-stuffing safeties in Mike Edwards and Darius West, to say nothing of SEC Defensive Player of the Year Josh Allen. This is a recipe for the Gators to crack the code and run wild.

2. Sawyer Gets Sacked at Least 6 Times

MOBILE, ALABAMA - DECEMBER 22: Sawyer Smith #3 of the Troy Trojans throws the ball for a touchdown during the first half of the Dollar General Bowl against the Buffalo Bulls on December 22, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dollar General Bowl - Buffalo v Troy | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Sawyer Smith is a graduate transfer from roy, where he played under Neal Brown in a quick-strike offense that could make any quarterback into an efficient passer (well, except Austin Kendall). Trouble arose when Smith held the ball and started to take sacks, however. After feasting on Miami's woefully underprepared offensive line, Jabari Zuniga, Jonathan Greenard, and the Gators should be locking their chops to go up against a depleted Wildcats o-line and make things tough for Smith.

3. Gators Coast to a 3-Score Win

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Dan Mullen of the Florida Gators reacts in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl | Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Smith has some arm talent, which could cause some problems for a Gators secondary that had some issues in the Miami game and is likely to be without its foremost star, CJ Henderson, due to an ankle injury. However, the Gators have the edge on paper, and should ride their running game and a quality day from quarterback Feleipe Franks to an easy win over their SEC East rivals to move to 3-0 on the season.