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Pre-Game 2: Thursday night


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I'm watching the replay of our Week 1 win vs Utah, and of course this 4th quarter really amplifies the impression I had experiencing it live: Utah had a STRONG running game going, true, but it also appeared we still weren't consistently wrapping up guys or finishing tackles on Defense.
That tends to be Kentucky's approach under Stoops as well--and you can BET that after seeing the film from this game that'll more than EVER be the plan come THIS Saturday.
If we stay calm and composed, come into this one poised and prepared, I am now fairly confident we can take this one.
Had they not had the injuries and suspensions they now face I might have been more concerned. However, they still have Smoke and an experienced line to block for him, so we still have work to do. If Utah really was as good as I think they showed the other night, this season's Gator defense is capable of slowing, even shutting DOWN this slightly hamstrung version of the UK offense.
Staying in the right frame-of-mind, neither too high nor too low as they prepare all week, then coming into this ready to execute (I see all these as reassuring strengths in how Billy Napier builds and prepares his team), I am actually going out on a bit of a limb now and "expecting enough to win our 2022 SEC-opener in The Swamp".


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How strong is the Kentucky D?
Well, a relatively undersized and unhealded, less-talented squad just gave 'em all they WANTED in Week 1, while we matched up pretty well with a big, strong, experienced and well-coached Pac-12 team ourselves in Utah...
So aside from my noted concerns about OUR defense, the only other thing that truly worries me going into Game 2 ISN'T so much the Cats themselves but our Gators' own attitude and emotional state after a week of being told how "GREAT" they supposedly are.
In other words, I feel like it isn't so much the Wildcats who are likely to beat us but OURSELVES: WE could well be our own potential "worst enemies" coming into this one!
That's ALWAYS a potential pitfall with what are after all the KIDS who comprise these college football rosters.
But in our favor, we do have in Billy Napier it seems a Coach who understands and factors this in as he paces his squad's preparation and growth each week.
That only leaves my inate insecurity:
I went against my own sense of caution above and actually predicted a Gator victory.
The thing is, when it comes to this team and program after the LAST dozen-plus years and the multiple "misses" at Coach, I'm superstitious: I find myself now second-guessing myself there.
I still see it that way, a win by an improving Florida team, the more talented squad here--but I'm a little bugged at myself for coming right OUT with it. If we somehow lose it, don't measure up, I may give up any such future outbursts for some time to come!
But damnit, I really DO believe this team was BETTER than they showed under Mullen and Grantham, and are already showing every sign of how ready they are to show it--on a consistent basis!