Not Overlooking the Wildcats

Hammond has touchdowns of 50 and 75 yards

How do you get up for a team you have beaten 25 straight years? That's the question that a lot of Florida players are getting asked this week as the Gators head home from a two game road winning streak and into the friendly confines of The Swamp to face Kentucky. The Wildcats lost last week to Western Kentucky while the Gators moved up in the polls. This one is easy to overlook as fans.

The 25 game winning streak that Florida has over Kentucky marks the longest active win-streak in the nation in a current series against a major conference opponent. The last win for Kentucky came in 1986 (10-3 in Lexington). The Wildcats are just 1-2 on the season while the Gators are 3-0 and have shown their mettle on the road in big time environments the last two weekends including a huge 37-20 win over a ranked Tennessee program.

If there ever seemed a game to overlook it would seem to be this one. This Gator squad seems to recognize that. "You don't want to take anyone for granted," senior receiver Frankie Hammond said Monday. "We want to go in every game and give it our best shot. Kentucky will have things dialed up for us and we will have to respond.

"We want to keep the streak going. That is what we plan on doing. It is our goal. We are prepared."

Senior linebacker Jon Bostic just has recent history to fall back on for this Gator squad. In every year he has been here the Gators have been ranked higher than they currently are, only to fall down to earth as the season progresses, dropping a game or two they shouldn't have.

Bostic knows his guys are looking behind at recent accomplishments or looking ahead past the Wildcats. "We have to keep going… we can't look at it," Bostic said about the previous three wins and the 3-0 record. "We've been here so many times.


Bostic (52) and Matt Elam Vs. Kentuck a year ago "Teams are going to line up and try and beat us, we can't look down on them. We will try and go out and play like we've been playing. Not going to let down because we have beaten them so many times. They are in the SEC and going to try and get back in it and get on top."

Despite how well the Tennessee game went and looked, there are so many things for this squad to improve on. They have come up with strong second halves in all three contests, they can do better in the first half and all around.

"I would use this as a platform for us to get better," Hammond said. "There are a lot of errors. There is room in the passing game and running game, short yardage… there are a lot of areas to get better. We are taking it day by day, week by week, and getting better.

The fact that the Gators are at home doesn't make this a shoe-in victory.

"It won't make a difference where we go or they come here, we still have to play football," Hammond said. "I like that we have our home games here and our home crowd, but every team is going to come here and give it their best shot. We have to just keep playing ball."

The last two weeks Florida has traveled to stadiums filled with rabid fans of those opponents. It is never easy to play on the road in a conference like the SEC. Coming home to 90,000 screaming Gators will be a great change of pace.

"It is good being at home," Bostic said. "We always like playing in front of our home fans. It will be good for us. It makes it a little bit harder getting the calls in but at the same time you know it is (helping) the offense."

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