LEXINGTON, Ky. — Florida players want to continue their dominance over Kentucky. The Wildcats are determined to snap their 26-game losing streak to the 20th-ranked Gators.
Something has to give when the schools meet in tonight’s Southeastern Conference game in Lexington, where Florida will try to regroup after a staggering week of season-ending injuries to key players.
With quarterback Jeff Driskel sidelined for the season, Tyler Murphy makes his first collegiate start for the Gators. Murphy came on in relief of Driskel last week and guided Florida past Tennessee.
Kentucky begins SEC play after a bye motivated to beat the Gators for the first time since 1986 and put an end to discussions about the losing streak.
For added intrigue, former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips returns to face the school he led for three seasons before being fired in November. Now UF’s wide receivers coach, Phillips hasn’t talked publicly about his return.
Florida’s run against Kentucky is the longest active streak over a major opponent in an annual series. The closest the Wildcats have come against the Gators was a 45-37 outcome in 2007; blowouts have been the norm since then, including a 38-0 shutout last year in Gainesville.
Florida players don’t want anything to change, they like things the way they are.
“Don’t want to be on that end,” Gators right tackle Kyle Koehne said. “I’ve gone 4-0 against UK in my career, so I’m looking to keep it undefeated.”
Added left tackle D.J. Humphries, “Twenty-six straight? Time to make it 27 then.”