Kentucky is trying to snap a 16-game losing streak to the Gators, including a seven-game losing streak at Commonwealth Stadium.
Jared Lorenzen is running the offense, but Derek Abney is Kentucky's biggest threat. As a wide receiver, he is tied for third on the UK career touchdown list with 16, one shy of second place. But Abney is most dangerous on special teams. Last year against the Gators, he scored touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns and on a pass reception.
"That guy is a special guy," Florida coach Ron Zook said. "It's not a fluke. He has not only done it to the University of Florida, he's done it to a lot of people. We've got to make sure we've got him contained, and we've got to have a little special plan for him."
Containing Florida's running game could be the biggest problem for the Wildcats. Kentucky is last in the SEC in rushing defense and ranked No. 99 nationally, allowing 193.5 yards per game. The Gators are averaging 178 yards per game on the ground.
Lorenzen, who draws as much attention for his girth as for his powerful left arm, needs just 152 yards to pass Florida's Shane Matthews at No. 4 on the SEC career total offense list. But he's 0-2 as a starter against UF.
Kentucky might be without offensive guard Jason Rollins, who has started 22 consecutive games. Rollins sustained a sprained shoulder in a 34-17 win against Indiana on Saturday. UK cornerback Andre Jones also is out for the rest of the season after breaking his right leg.
GOT A MINUTE
Cory Bailey is a senior cornerback and a member of the special teams unit. He knows how important it will be to stop Abney. Bailey talks about life on special teams and how the Gators plan on handling Abney.
AE: You play on the kickoff return team. Simple or not?
CB: That's the hardest special team to play on. First, you've got to watch the kicker. Then, you've got to watch the kicker kick the ball, because he might try to trick you with an onside kick. Then, you've got to sprint back about 25 yards, then you've got to turn around and square up on a man that's running full speed at you and make sure he doesn't jump your back or run you over because you've got to stand in front of him and block for the man that's running behind you. So it's kind of a tough job.
AE: You're about to face one of the best in college football in Derek Abney. Do you prepare differently for him?
CB: You've always got to prepare different for a person that can change the game in the blink of an eye. We prepare for him, but you've always got to be able to watch him and be able to control and contain him.
AE: How do you do that?
CB: Tackle him. That's it. You've just got to get him on the ground because once he makes one move, if he can make one person miss and you get everybody going one way, once they start blocking it's get ugly from there.
AE: What kind of person excels playing special teams?
CB: A person that just wants to play football. If you don't have the heart to play it, you might not want to run down there full speed and make a tackle, you might not want to make that block, you might not want to block that punt. You might just want to be on offense and defense and see what you can do to make stats. But special teams is very important.
Florida quarterback Chris Leak will be making his first start this week, the first freshman to start away from home for Florida since 1997. Here's a look at how true freshman quarterbacks have fared on the road for the Gators.
YEAR QUARTERBACK OPPONENT RESULT STATS (Comp, Att., Yds)
1989 Donald Douglas Auburn L 10-7 1-5-6 0 INT, 0 TD
1989 Donald Douglas Georgia L 17-10 12-20-181 2 INT, 1 TD
1980 Wayne Peace Ole Miss W 15-3 4-10-66 0 INT, 0 TD
1980 Wayne Peace Georgia L 26-21 20-37-282 2 INT, 1 TD
1980 Wayne Peace Kentucky W 17-15 17-30-240 0 INT, 1 TD
1980 Wayne Peace FSU L 17-13 9-24-160 2 INT, 1 TD
1980 Wayne Peace Maryland W 35-20 20-34-271 1 INT, 2 TD
"Ingle is doing fine. Obviously the whole team was disappointed with last week's performance, Ingle included. But he'll regroup and bounce back stronger than ever, I believe." - Todd McCullough, UF linebacker and close friend of demoted quarterback Ingle Martin on how Martin is dealing with losing his starting job.
The Gators are adamant that they are still in the SEC East championship hunt, but if last week's performance is any indication they most likely won't be going undefeated the rest of the way. Still, there's lots of football left to be played. For now, the Gators look Peach Bowl bound.