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.
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.