An overhaul of the SEC East standings could be in store in Week 5 when No. 22 Florida hits the road to play to Kentucky. Having already started conference play with wins, these squads would love nothing more than to get to 2-0 in the league as they chase back-to-back National Champion Georgia for the division title.
Florida and Kentucky aren't exactly rivals, but this game has taken on plenty of intrigue in recent years. It used to be a given that the Gators would walk out with a win, not matter where the game took place. Florida won 31 straight against Kentucky from 1987-2017, making it one of the longest consecutive winning streaks against a single opponent in college football history.
The Wildcats broke the skid and have made things interesting since. In fact, Mark Stoops' squad has won two straight games against Florida, marking the first such streak since 1976-77. Though Florida enters Saturday's contest ranked, Kentucky is actually a slight 2.5-point favorite to extend its streak against the Gators.
The Wildcats are 4-0 on the year, though they have yet to beat a team with a winning record. Florida has one loss already, but that came against two-time reigning Pac-12 champion Utah. The Gators also already have a quality win under their belts against Tennessee.
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How to watch Florida vs. Kentucky live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Kroger Field -- Lexington, Kentucky
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Florida vs. Kentucky: Need to know
Transfer quarterbacks with different trajectories: Both Florida and Kentucky are starting first-year transfers at quarterback. The Gators have had a good bit of success with Graham Mertz, a former longtime starter at Wisconsin. He's completing 77.8% of his passes and averaged 11 yards per attempt in two of the last three games. Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary, a former NC State star, isn't off to as hot of a start. He's already matched his career high for interceptions in a season with five and has a sub-60% completion rate. He has thrown for nine touchdowns, however, which is a good bit than Mertz's four.
Historic chance for Wildcats: Though Florida has dominated the recent history of this rivalry, there's a lot on the line in Saturday's game. For Kentucky, a win would mean its first three-game winning streak in the series since 1948-51, when Bear Bryant was patrolling the sidelines. It would also mean the Wildcats will have won four games in a six-year span against the Gators since 1974-79. Florida, obviously, wants to avoid being on the wrong side of history. The Gators are also hoping for their first 2-0 start to SEC play since 2020.
Florida's defense making a difference: While Mertz and his slight resurgence have been a nice story for Florida, the defense is defining the season so far. The Gators are fifth nationally in total defense, allowing just 245 yards per game. They're one of just 14 schools -- with Kentucky -- at the FBS level allowing less than 90 rushing yards per game, and their 13.5 points surrendered per game is tied with Alabama and behind only Georgia for second-best in the SEC. First-year defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong looks like a grand-slam hire for Billy Napier.
Florida vs. Kentucky prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
These two teams are way too evenly matched -- on paper, at least -- to confidently make a pick either straight up or against the spread. Florida has the more impressive win by beating Tennessee but also struggled to finish drives against one of the FBS's worst teams in Charlotte. Kentucky hasn't really played anyone of note to this point (sorry, Vanderbilt), so it's a hard team to read. One thing is for sure, though: It's going to be a battle for either team to move the ball. The under seems like a smart bet given each team's defensive strength and slow, methodical approach to offense. Pick: Under 44 (-110)
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 5, and which underdogs will win outright? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.