Florida plays Kentucky this weekend in Gainesville. The Gators have beaten the Wildcats 25 straight times.
Offensive coordinator Brent Pease is familiar with that streak, as he spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons in Lexington as UK’s offensive coordinator, and earlier this summer he made comments that Saturday's game would be personal.
When Pease was hired at Florida this offseason, former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who played under Pease, took to Twitter to let his opinion on the Gators’ new hire be heard.
“Seriously, Brent Pease at Florida? He's freaking crazy and was brutal at UK when I was there,” Lorenzen said on his Twitter account, before adding more later in the day. “The good thing about Pease at UF is now we can shut them down. #nohalftimeadjs.”
Pease responded at Gator Club meeting this summer in Ocala, when he said the game would be personal and that he would look to run up the score on the Wildcats when they came to Gainesville this season.
“I coached Jared,” Pease said during the meeting, according to the Gainesville Sun. “Jared is one of those guys that was talking trash when I took this job. So that's good for about two extra launch plays, trying to get to 50 points on those guys when they come to campus.”
With that game set for Saturday, Pease was asked about those comments today. He backed off significantly.
“I liked Jared. He's a good kid,” Pease said Tuesday. “He did a great job playing when I was there. He actually did a fabulous job.”
“It's free speech America, you know,” Pease said Tuesday when asked about Lorenzen’s comments. “Hey I didn't make a quote there (in Ocala). You know, I had fun. And I was responding to a question. And you know, that's nothing personal.”
Pease went on to praise Kentucky’s commitment to football, its basketball and baseball programs and, of course, the ever-loved presence of Wildcat super fan Ashley Judd. He said Lorenzen’s comments have no real bearing on the game, and that he doesn’t consider the matchup personal.
“Two or three of my best friends still live there,” he said. “It's another game. I got a lot of respect for that place because, you know, I worked there, and I really love Lexington, and I still got a lot of friends who are in the administration there that worked closely with me, helped me out. And, you know, I wish them success.”