Big, big early game


There are many big and important games on Florida’s 2015 schedule. One of the biggest — maybe even the biggest — is one that many will naturally skip over when scanning the schedule.

Sept. 19, at Kentucky

A victory over the Wildcats is usually considered a given. It’s only natural given the fact the Gators haven’t lost to UK since way back in 1986. That adds up to a 28-game winning streak in the series.

So, to say a September game at Kentucky could be one of the biggest of the season just doesn’t sound right. But it is, it really is.

Here’s why: If the Gators don’t win in Lexington in the SEC opener, they could find themselves in an early downward spiral that will be hard to reverse. In the month that follows, Florida plays Tennessee and Ole Miss at home, followed by Missouri and LSU on the road. If those games were played now, the Gators would be underdogs in all four. So, a loss to UK would be more than bad. It could be devastating for Jim McElwain’s first UF team and could lead to a real downer of a season.

The Gators were fortunate to win last year’s game in The Swamp, barely surviving in overtime. That close call, along with UF’s issues on offense (especially the line), is why many in Lexington are thinking/predicting this will be the year the Wildcats finally get the Gators.

If it happens, it could be a potential season wrecker for the Gators.

That’s why that Sept. 19 game in Lexington is one of the biggest — maybe even the biggest — on the UF schedule.