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Kentucky injuries make UF 24.5-point favorite

GAINESVILLE -- Despite Kentucky's impressive defensive numbers, Florida is a 24.5-point favorite against the Wildcats, according to some Las Vegas casinos.

Florida's defense is allowing a league-best average of 10.5 points per game but untimely injuries to several Wildcat starters have contributed to the large point spread. Even an optimistic outlook for Kentucky is bad. The 'Cats will be without its best receiver (Dicky Lyons, Jr.) and best running back (Derrick Locke) for the rest of season. Here's a list of ailing Kentucky starters, their status for Saturday's game and their contributions on the field this season:

-DB David Jones (elbow) questionable: Played in seven games, 17 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception
-FS Marcus McClinton (knee/sprained MCL) questionable: Played in seven games, 28 tackles, four interceptions, one forced fumble
-RB Derrick Locke (knee) out for year: Led Kentucky RBs in rushing (303 yards on 63 carries).
-DT Myron Pryor (high-ankle sprain) questionable: Played in seven games, 3.5 sacks, 20 tackles, 7.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage
-LB Micah Johnson (high-ankle sprain) questionable: Played in seven games, second on the team with 44 tackles.
-RT Justin Jeffries (knee/sprained MCL) doubtful: Started in five games
-WR Kyrus Lanxter (shoulder) doubtful: Played six games, seven receptions for 89 yards
-WR Dicky Lyons, Jr. (knee) out for year: Played in six games, tied for SEC lead in receptions at time of season-ending injury

The injury bug has certainly taken a major bite out of the Gators' starting line-up but Kentucky is really hurting right now. Anyone with a hint of a conscience must feel bad for Kentucky. The Cats have to face UF with as many as eight starters out or playing injured.

"We hope we can have a good week of practice," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "We know how good of a team Florida is. They put a whipping on LSU a few weeks ago and they are coming off a bye week to face us."

EMAILS I GET
Gator Clause occasionally publishes the emails that fill our inboxes. This quality email comes to us from Mark U. of origins unknown. Referencing this morning's blog post about ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer, Mark writes (Mark's email in blue font):

The BCS poll has USC ranked No.5 ... how shocking. Apparently, the computers and everyone has already forgotten that the Trojans were down by 3-4 touchdowns at halftime and lost to the Beavers from Oregon State.

I suspect what [Jesse Palmer] found shocking was that a team ranked No.5 in the AP poll (Florida) found itself at No.10 in the BCS. I don't believe any other teams found such a disparity. Actually, it's way too early to worry about rankings -- still so much football to be played.

-Mark

Great take, Mark. Thanks for the email and thanks for visiting the blog. Don't forget that some BCS polls don't take into account head-to-head match-ups. Also, the writer's poll no longer factors into the BCS standings. We writers decided a few years ago that we wanted nothing to do with the BCS and the AP poll was replaced in the BCS formula by the Harris Interactive poll.

-jo-

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In response to Mark's post...not only are we No. 5 in the AP, we're consistently ranked No. 5 in most power rankings available (ESPN, SI, FOX) as examples. Travesty to be No. 10 in the BCS...but after we demolish Kentucky this week hopefully the computers will go a little hay-wire.

UF's BCS stock should rise with an upward curve if they continue to win. As they plough through the SEC, the computer rankings will continue to rise based on increasing difficulty of schedule. Pansies like UM and Hawaii didn't help the intitial rankings. Teams ranked ahead of UF will fall. Hopefully Alabama stays unbeaten and meets UF in Atlanta. And hopefully those pantywaist Seminoles continue to win. If UF meets an unbeaten Bama in Atlanta and wins, it would give them a huge jump in the BCS standings. Everything is fine, just keep winning.

Why should we feel bad about Kentucky's injuries?

We lost probably one of the most talented offensive players in college football in Ingram. How great would this offense look with Ingram?

Plus we have been without Harvin being 100% for several games, Moody for most games, offensive linemen hurt, and numerous players out for the year with ACLs. Tebow hasnt been 100% with back issues. We have just as many injuries as anyone. The bye week came at a good time.

Plus this team is very young. Miami likes to use the young excuse like no one else is young but check out our defense. That is a young defense and they are near the top in defensive stats.

SEC,

It's never a good thing when football players get hurt. All I was trying to say.

-jo-

Yeah I got ya.

Every team has injuries and I dont think many teams, if any, have more than the Gators.
This team has been plagued with injuries before the season even started. You wrote a blog on all the people out for the year with ACLs and one of those was a stud in Ingram. Percy Harvin who is arguably the best player in college football has been in and out and limping in just about every game. Tebow has back issues. Moody is hurt all the time. So while it stinks to have players hurt from any team every team has them and the Gators have as much as any.

Hasnt Dickie Lyons Jr. been at Kentucky for about 10 years? Is he Van Wilder?

It does seem DL Jr. has been there forever...

I agree, SEC, we've not only been hurt by injuries as worse as anyone else in the NCAA, but we were also younger than UM in that game and it was completely misconstrued.

LOL, Van Wilder. Write that down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eThHKwU8iYs

-jo-

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