NO. 5 Florida (3-0, 1-0) vs. Kentucky (2-1, 1-0), 7:45
By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published September 23, 2006
The best rushing defense in the SEC is without one of its best players. UF defensive tackle Marcus Thomas is serving an indefinite suspension. In his absence, end Ray McDonald will move inside and tackle Steven Harris will rotate inside and out to try to fill that void. Luckily for Florida, Kentucky has one of the league's worst rushing teams, averaging 96.7 yards per game. The game should be a showcase for special teams. UF freshman Brandon James is averaging 13 yards per punt return, but he will be among elite company today. Kentucky receiver Keenan Burton averages 34.7 yards on kickoffs, and running back Rafael Little is averaging 23.1 yards on punt returns, although his status is uncertain due to a bruised knee. Kentucky leads the league in kickoff returns and is second in punt returns. Quarterback Andre Woodson has thrown three touchdowns in all three games this season, and the Wildcats lead the league in scoring offense (tied with Georgia at 33.3 points per game). Florida tailback DeShawn Wynn is looking to build off last week's 100-yard performance, and what better opportunity than against the SEC's worst rushing defense: Kentucky is allowing 207.7 yards on the ground. Kentucky enters on a two-game winning streak, having won its SEC opener for the first time in 19 years, and is looking for its first win against Florida since 1986 and the first in Gainesville since 1979.