Florida-Kentucky Pregame Notebook: Gators can move closer to clinching East

Special to Gatorsports.com
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Kentucky (3-5) at No. 5 Florida (6-1, No. 6 CFP), Noon, Today (ESPN).

Series record: Florida leads 52-18.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Gators could lose one of their final three games and still win the Southeastern Conference’s East Division. But a loss likely would undercut their chances of securing a spot in the College Football Playoff if they win the SEC title game.

KEY MATCHUP

Can anyone stop Florida quarterback Kyle Trask? The fifth-year senior has thrown for 2,554 yards, with 31 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. Widely considered the Heisman Trophy front-runner, Trask has more TD passes than any previous Heisman winner through seven games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kentucky: Terry Wilson was fantastic in his last trip to the Swamp. He might need to be just as good for the Wildcats to make it two in a row in Gainesville. Joey Gatewood and freshman Beau Allen could see action. Wilson was benched in the third quarter last week after Alabama returned an interception for a score and a 35-3 leads. Gatewood and Allen combined to miss all six of their attempts.

Florida: TE Kyle Pitts returns after a two-game absence, ready to play for the first time since a vicious hit against Georgia caused a concussion and left him needing nose surgery. Pitts has 24 catches for 414 yards and eight touchdowns in five games.

RUNNING REVIVAL

Without Chris Rodriguez, who leads Kentucky with 562 yards rushing, the team mustered a season-low 59 yards on 32 carries against the Crimson Tide. Rodriguez was among five starters missing in Tuscaloosa because of injuries or coronavirus protocol.

He’s not listed on the depth chart this week, so the SEC's second-ranked rushing attack might have to rely on A.J. Rose and Kavosiey Smoke. Rose was one of the few bright spots last week, running for 68 yards on 10 carries.

FACTS & FIGURES

Five of the last six meetings have been decided late in the fourth quarter. … Wildcats guard Austin Dotson will wear No. 65 to honor late offensive line coach John Schlarman, a four-year starter (1994-97) for Kentucky who died Nov. 12 following a two-year battle with cancer. Linemen have rotated wearing Schlarman’s number since. … Florida has won 11 straight at home, the team’s longest streak since winning 14 in a row between 2008 and 2010. ... Gators have scored 35-plus points in nine consecutive games, a school record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.