(h/t Regina Rickert)
With all the talk of UK’s drastic defensive improvements since the beginning of the season, much of the media focus has been placed on the Cat’s defensive performance in these last two games. Many supporters around the program believe the Gators coming to town this weekend poses as an opportunity for a potential big-time upset. Florida has not looked like their normal selves on offense so far this year and they have encountered problems with turnovers as well. There is one huge question yet to be asked though. Are we actually going to be able to move the ball offensively vs. this Florida defense?
Florida Defensive Stats:
- Ranked 2nd in FBS in total defense only allowing an average of 212.3 yards per game.
- Ranked 19th in FBS in scoring defense only allowing 14.7 points per game.
- Ranked 1st in FBS in first downs defense only allowing 34 first downs in their first 3 games.
- Ranked 1st in FBS in third down completion percentage defense only allowing .189 of third downs to be completed (7/37 attempts/completions).
- Ranked 1st in FBS in rushing defense only allowing 55.3 yards per game on the ground. They have only given up 166 yards on the ground so far this season.
- Ranked 15th in FBS in passing yards allowed only giving up 157.0 yards per game.
- Ranked 1st in FBS in time of possession with an average of 39.0 minutes per game.
The Florida defensive statistics are not a fluke. The Gators have played quality competition in Miami and Tennessee in their last two games and have done very well on the defensive side of the ball. Florida’s defensive stats speak for themselves. They have only given up 667 total yards of offense all season. If the Cats don’t come out swinging on offense and move the ball down the field, then it could be a disappointing night for UK and the fans.
This IS NOT Louisville’s defense. Louisville is rated very highly in many defensive categories, but Florida is not playing The Little Sisters of the Poor. Actually, in most defensive categories Florida is ranked higher than Louisville despite UL’s YMCA schedule. Kentucky has to come out strong on offense and not go three and out to avoid Florida wearing down our defense quickly.
(h/t Regina Rickert)
If the Cats can get the offense rolling in stride with a solid defensive effort, this game possesses the makings for a stunner in Lexington. One thing we must do this week on offense is convert on third down. It does not matter who you are, if you can’t convert one third down (0-13 against Louisville) then you are not going to win. If we can avoid game altering turnovers on offense like the three we coughed up against UL, Kentucky has a cat in this fight. UK needs things to go their way in this game, but most importantly the turnover battle vs. the turnover-ridden Florida offense.