Multiple narratives make Kentucky an even tougher out for Florida
The 28-game winning streak Florida has enjoyed over Kentucky has been the main narrative heading into the weekend, and rightfully so.
It's an eye-popping revelation to realize the Wildcats haven't defeated the Gators on the gridiron since 1986. A suffocating blanket of blue and orange has kept Kentucky from snatching even one victory over that time period.
There are other story lines surrounding this suddenly intriguing matchup.
For one, it pits a young, talented SEC East team against another young, talented SEC East team. Both Jim McElwain and Mark Stoops rely upon inexperienced talent at significant positions. Florida's top two running backs are true freshmen, as is a starting receiver. Kentucky has a smorgasbord of talented sophomores littered throughout the two-deep.
There is a distinct difference as to how these players were recruited. With Florida being such a hotbed of high school talent, the Gators have traditionally cherry-picked elite talent from the state. Often times, these local kids will opt for Florida over a host of other schools.
In Kentucky's case, Stoops has had to unearth the underrated gems. He has signed some top talent (such as Matt Elam), but much of Kentucky's roster stems from developing 2 and 3-star recruits from Ohio and…Florida. Surely, these Florida natives will want to prove themselves against the hometown school that opted to not recruit them.
Lastly, Kentucky is trying to catapult itself into the upper-echelon of the division. Stoops has seen improvement every year from a record standpoint. The lack of a bowl appearance in 2015 would be a general disappointment. Beating Florida and ending the losing streak would be a big feather in Stoops' cap. It'd also signal from a perception standpoint that Kentucky is a program on the rise.
For all of these reasons, Florida needs to be ready for an upstart squad.
Kentucky ended a 22 game SEC road losing streak LW. Now can they end nation's longest active win streak – Florida won 28 straight in series.
— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) September 15, 2015