UK vs. Florida: Position by position

Mike Hartline appeared to take a step back in Saturday’s third-quarter meltdown against Louisville. Tim Tebow was underwhelming against Tennessee, but is still one of the all-time greats in college football. Even if Hartline improves drastically, it’s hard to see him outplaying Tebow, who can help as a runner more than Hartline can.
Advantage: Florida

Running backs
Even with Derrick Locke back at full speed and with Florida tailback Jeffery Demps battling the flu, the Gators have more depth here. Either Emmanuel Moody or Chris Rainey could probably start for the Cats, so Florida gets the nod.
Advantage: Florida

Chris Matthews has hardly been the big-play threat most envisioned thus far. His longest catch is for 22 yards. Randall Cobb is fun to watch, but Florida’s platoon of wideouts and talented tight ends is just better than what UK puts on the field. Don’t expect a dominating performance from either receiving corps, but Florida should spread the ball around more efficiently.
Advantage: Florida

Offensive line
UK hasn’t given up a sack all season, and is solid at every position on the line. Florida has great interior players, led by the Pouncey twins, but doesn’t have the bookend tackles or the chemistry that the Cats have with seniors Justin Jeffries, Zipp Duncan and Jorge Gonzalez leading the way.
Advantage: UK

Defensive line
The Cats had question marks all over the defensive line before the season, and they’ve answered few of them. DeQuin Evans had two sacks against Louisville, but the pass rush just isn’t consistent enough. Florida returns all four men up front from last year, and there’s plenty of depth behind those guys.
Advantage: Florida

Florida has a ton of talent at every linebacker position. UK is solid, but not spectacular at any one spot — possibly excluding Micah Johnson in the middle. But Florida even tops UK there, as long as Brandon Spikes is healthy.
Advantage: Florida

Defensive backs
Trevard Lindley is one of the top corners in the nation, but Florida may have the top corner tandems in the nation. Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins can shut anyone down at any point. Florida’s safeties, Major Wright and Ahmad Black, are also elite playmakers in the Southeastern Conference.
Advantage: Florida

Special teams
The special teams game usually comes down to depth, and while the Cats have improved their depth in recent years, they don’t stockpile like the Gators. Year after year of stellar recruiting means Florida should outplay the Cats here again this year after a dominating performance last year.
Advantage: Florida

Rich Brooks has done a lot in his time at UK, but there’s still a long road ahead before the Cats have a real chance of knocking off the Gators. That’s no knock on this year’s team, because Florida is too good for just about any team in the country to stick with for four quarters.
Advantage: Florida

I think the assessment above is correct overall, but would disagree with two areas. First, Florida’s receiving corp is not impressive. I would say that UK is at least even, if not ahead in this area. Secondly, I would also say that UK’s Defensive Backs are on par with Florida’s. If we had the same pass rush that Florida does, you would see similar results from our back four. Giving a QB an extra second or two in the pocket makes a great DB look average.