Like everyone else who has followed the early and promising progress of this Florida team, I’ve been very impressed. This is a Gator team that is growing with its young quarterback — and the process seems to be happening at warp speed.
When you look back at Jeff Driskel and the Gators in the opener and compare that performance with what we saw last Saturday in Knoxville, it’s night and day. The improvement has been remarkable. It’s a trend that should continue against a Kentucky team that is struggling mightily on defense and coming off an embarrassing home loss to Western Kentucky.
Some, maybe many, around Gator Nation are leery of a possible letdown Saturday. My response is I think this team is too focused on its mission to fall into the same trap last year’s team did in the Furman game. This is a much more mature team that will get itself ready to play, and improve, this week.
Like offensive guard Jon Halapio said earlier in the week, the Gators have invested too much in this season to let things slide backward now.
I look for offensive coordinator Brent Pease to put more on Driskel’s plate, and I expect Driskel to handle whatever it is. This is what he’s done in every game. And I look for Mike Gillislee to have a big day against a UK defense that the Gators gutted for more than 400 yards rushing a year ago.
The up-tempo UK passing game will present a challenge, but if UF can take Tyler Bray and those excellent receivers out of their game, they’ll be able to do the same against the Wildcats.
Prediction: Florida 41, Kentucky 10.