Kentucky football: Prediction for every game on Wildcats 2022 schedule

The Kentucky Wildcats mascot during Cat Walk (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
The Kentucky Wildcats mascot during Cat Walk (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky Wildcats fans celebrate after beating Florida in Lexington (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The season’s fate may rest in muzzling the Gators in SEC opener

Venue: Kroger Field
City/StateGainsville, FL

Overall Series Record: Florida leads 53-19
Last meeting: Kentucky won 20-13 in 2021

Last season had Big Blue Nation all jacked up as the wins continued to go Kentucky’s way, including a stunning 30-13 upset of No. 9 Florida in Lexington behind a deafening crowd and a defense that played its hearts out. 

Kroger Field turned into a giddy site of fans rushing the field and couches being burned in the Lexington streets.

Gator fans will not forget that so easy, but UK has one thing in their favor if they want to make it two straight over Florida and that is this season’s game is in week No. 2. Florida opens this weekend against No. 7 Utah under new coach Billy Napier, and a loss would prove advantageous for Kentucky coming to Gainsville.

Kentucky needs and must win this game.

There is no time to iron out any issues from Week 1 and with the potential of several SEC teams finishing in a tie for second place should Georgia still win the league then head-to-head wins here will be very important.

Stoops will only address the Rodriguez suspension week to week so who knows? It’s likely to run several games though.

Kentucky offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello will run his committee of running backs in and out and up and down the field and look for Ramone Jefferson to have a huge game under the bright lights. Levis will need to use all his receivers especially freshman Barion Brown but in a more ball-controlled offense.

With offenses that are both strong and won’t win or lose the game it will come down to the defense and who makes the few mistakes or big plays.  I give Big Blue the advantage here being as Stoops and Brad White have a lot more cohesiveness in week 2.  Now if this game were later in the season that could swing the other way.

You don’t want to try and get into a track meet and tilt the scoreboard with the Gators. Most games in the past have left the Wildcats with a loss. Only five times has UK beat the Gators in the Swamp.

It will come down to nailbiter and watch as Matt Ruffolo kicks a late drive-winning field goal and Stoops becomes the all-time winningest coach in Kentucky football history with a 31-28 win.

You can smell the aroma of burning sofa leather and fabric all across the bluegrass as Kentucky moves to 2-0 on the season.