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Kentucky vs. Florida simulation

No one could have predicted last week’s loss to Western Kentucky — not even the WhatIfSports prediction engine. With as powerful as the Cats offense had looked in weeks prior, there was nary hint the Hilltoppers could hang with Kentucky, dominate Kentucky, and much less win the game… But it happened and the Cats sit at 1-2 on the young season, heading into the toughest stretch of opponents any team in the country will face.

What happened against WKU that the projection missed? Put simply: turnovers happened. The simulation predicted only a single turnover from the Cats, not four picks from the starting quarterback. Those four interceptions were enough to turn the tides of the game early on and disrupt the flow of the UK offense for the entire game. The Toppers capitalized on mistakes.

On the positive side, the Western game was the third-straight week that the WIS prediction has underestimated the passing attack. Turnovers aside, Maxwell Smith aired it out for 332 yards of the 373-yard offensive total and completed 37 passes. Whether it is out of necessity for how pitiful the ground game has been or not, by and large, Smith is still playing very well at quarterback.

Now looking ahead to Saturday’s game in The Swamp. WIS remains conservative in their picks, taking Florida 23-12 with a mere 19.8% chance of victory for Kentucky. The Vegas spread is up to -23.5 for Florida — so needless to say, there is a good chance this final score prediction is far off.

Florida has been very un-Florida in the first year since Will Muschamp took over for Urban Meyer. Losing games has never been in the plans for Gators fans, but lose they did — six of their final nine in 2011, and five of their final nine in 2010. However, 2012 looks like a new-found Florida team. Ranked No. 23 in the country and on the upswing, the Gators are led by their own sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Mike GIllislee who leads the SEC in rushing yards.

Kentucky comes in, as they will against a lot of SEC teams, a big underdog with nothing to lose. If there were ever a time to beat Florida and end the 25-game streak it was last year in Commonwealth Stadium, but after that it is now. UF is only going to get stronger, and by the looks of it the talent gap will continue inflate. If Joker Phillips wants to regain the ground lost and more from last week, he’ll create winning game plan and execute on Saturday. For the love of all that is good, don’t get blown out.

Is it too much to ask for a miracle? WIS predicts 95 rushing yards from Kentucky, far from the 67-yard-per-game average they have in two losses. Predicted passing yards at 169 may not be far off, as this will be the stiffest defense the Cats have seen all season. Florida is predicted to pile up 340 yards of total offense; based on what they did to Tennessee last week, collecting 555 yards, the final tally could be well above that predicted total.

One final bit to consider about these two teams. Kentucky and Florida have nearly polar opposite offensive philosophies and how effective they are. UK is averaging 322 yards passing (13th in the country) and only 106 yards rushing (106th). Compare that to UF which averages 176 yards passing (107th) and 232 yards rushing (22nd).

I’ll leave you with this statistic that can only make you sigh: Florida has won the last four meetings against Kentucky by a combined score of 200-36.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

22 Comments for Kentucky vs. Florida simulation



  1. dave
    3:07 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    muschamp is only in his 2nd season at UF so the losing “five of their final nine in 2010” was with urban.



  2. ComputersRstupid
    3:16 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Way more likely that the gators will score that much in just the first quarter alone than us holding them to 23 for the entire game.



  3. schwing
    3:26 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    yeah, “no one could have predicted last week’s loss” except for all those sports writers who, um, predicted that loss…



  4. Just Sayin'
    3:35 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    over/under on final margin of victory for Florida should be 50 points. tomorrow is going to be ugly.



  5. Billy G
    3:42 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    “No one could have predicted last week’s loss to Western Kentucky — not even the WhatIfSports prediction engine. With as powerful as the Cats offense had looked in weeks prior, there was nary hint the Hilltoppers could hang with Kentucky, dominate Kentucky, and much less win the game… ”

    Um, hello. Many people saw this loss coming. I had Western winning by two touchdowns, which they should have. Many Kentucky fans saw this loss coming, just go read the CatsIllustrated message boards one time before saying something so blatantly wrong like “no one could have predicted the loss.”



  6. Billy G
    3:45 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    In other words this post is garbage.



  7. Yngvie Maumsteen.
    3:45 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    106-1 UF



  8. Yesterdays
    3:51 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    We are usually in these ball games until one certain event. Either a huge turnover or a long scoring play for the other squad. Then the wheels immediately fall off and we are down by 28. Sometimes this happens early, sometimes it happens 3rd quarter. But it will happen



  9. Rockfield, KY
    3:52 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    7. come on man, where’s your fanhood? we’ll at least score 3. We can’t get 2 bc that would require our defense to make a push.



  10. GatorChomp
    4:02 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    What happened to Gator Hate Day??



  11. CatGrad7072
    4:11 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    If UF wins 23-12, the fix is in. The final score depends solely on UF’f interest in the game.



  12. Dave in Bangkok
    4:18 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    I gotta disagree….there were a lot of folks predicting a WKU win.

    Lots of people who saw that Joker wasn’t head coach material.



  13. Shocker
    4:19 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    If we lose 23-12 to Florida I would consider that a victory in UK football



  14. Dear Stuart
    4:48 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Please quit your day job. That is all.



  15. 4 Full Quarters
    5:07 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    What about the rest of the game? 23-12 might be the score after the first quarter but UF is quite likely to triple that output on our pitiful, poorly coached, uninspired defense. KY might score 21 points. Final Score: UF 70, UK 21.



  16. blurishturr
    5:21 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    #3 lol is right that lost was predicted by alot even the BG paper had it las a lost of UK.



  17. Bill Clyde
    6:07 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    70-7, they will let us score on the final drive in 4th quarter. I got $200 bucks that Kentucky will not cover 23 1/2 point spread. Double that, and I still would take Florida.



  18. Bad writers
    6:19 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    KSR has “employed” too many bad writers lately, who have no idea what they are talking about (especially when writing about football). Also, tons of grammatical errors in a lot on articles (not necessarily this one).



  19. mike
    6:36 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    “WIS” gives Kentucky a 19.8% of winning. That means Kentucky would win 1 out of every 5 in the swamp. I think WIS has blown a michrochip.



  20. BigBlueFever
    6:44 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Many people posting comments on here (including myself) predicted the loss to WKU and many sports writers also predicted the loss to WKU…the only people who didn’t see it were the delusional Joker supporters. By the way, Florida will beat us far worse than that…Florida will have at least a three touchdown lead going into halftime becuse our defense couldn’t stop a bunch of little old ladies using walkers.



  21. happy
    8:01 pm September 21, 2012 Permalink

    Joker when fired will have more time with Mary JO.