A 14 year old girl wakes up in the middle of the night feeling sick pain in her stomach.
A 22 year old college QB twists an ankle in a football game and it’s sore.
A 35 year old businessman is stressed out at work and has headaches.
A 7 year old boy has a high fever.
What do they all have in common?
They’re uncomfortable, and need to take some medicine to alleviate their discomfort. Now, the medicine they take isn’t going to necessarily cure the illness, but it will mask the symptoms and problems for a little while.
Now, let’s add a fifth example. The Florida Gators need to work on some weaknesses. But there’s no Tylenol or Advil for that. Or is there? Yes, there is. It just comes in pads and silky blue and white jerseys. It’s called the University of Kentucky football team.
The Gators felt sick to their offense a year ago, and fans were collectively ticked off at Steve Addazio. So Addazio simply waved his magic wand and turned Trey Burton into Tim Tebow before our very eyes! And UK’s defense happily obliged, allowing Burton to score SIX TIMES- something not even mighty Tebow could do. We saw how similar the two really are the week later when Burton used Nico Johnson as his hoop for a jump shot in the end zone. No knock on Burton, but he’s no Tebow. When you take an overdose of Kentucky, however, just like weed, you can be anything you want to be!
For a minute last night, though, UK looked decent. But it was just an illusion. John Brantley threw a 45 yard TD pass to Gerald Christian (and this was legit, not a 4 yard toss that was turned into a touchdown), Jeff Demps scored on runs of 20 and a career long 84, Chris Rainey really reminded me of Percy Harvin on a nasty cutback run, and even Mike Gillislee took a couple fluid ounces of Kentucky and weaved his way for a 60 yard TD. Trey Burton didn’t score six TD’s, though he did score one, on a Tebow type situation, plowing into the end zone. Oh and the defense picked off three passes, forced two fumbles, and sacked Morgan Newton a bunch of times.
But again, here’s the thing- Kentucky, like Advil, only masks symptoms, doesn’t cure them. We don’t know how good Florida really is, not from last night. This was a team that lost to Louisville of the Big Least- that lost to lowly FIU. Yes, the same Florida International team the Gators hammered 62-3 only two years ago.
So we can’t take anything seriously from last night.
We knew Demps is really, really fast. We knew Rainey was a fantastic athlete. We knew Brantley was a game managing QB that can make a big play every now and then. We knew our defense is pretty solid.
But we can’t expect to just mow Alabama down in the red zone like we did Kentucky. We can’t simply hand Demps the ball and watch him go all the way. We can’t give Rainey 40 touches and expect 300 yards. And we can’t assume Brantley will light them up for big bombs.
Playing UK before a huge game like Alabama is almost harmful. It gets Gator fans high, akin to smoking weed before a big game. The Wildcats really are a drug. They make things seem perfect, whether they are or not. If they are, they make things seem more perfect, and if they’re not, hey, it’s fun to be high for a night and see people in Gator uniforms doing things they’re not supposed to do (at least in opponents’ DC’s minds).
In any case, it’s great to see Florida win their 25th in a row over the Cats, and their 31st out of the last 32. It’s mind boggling when you realize how many different players have come and gone through both schools and went unblemished in this rivalry. Unfortunately for Kentucky student-athletes it’s the wrong kind of perfection, going unblemished in the win column against the Gators. And this is now the fifth head coach for Florida to play a part in this dominance- this went all the way to Charlie Pell’s days.
The Gators’ historical dominance over Kentucky is unquestioned.
But the real question remains: is Florida ready for Alabama?
I’ll be breaking it down throughout the week at a higher output rate than previous weeks so keep checking the site for updates and predictions.
One thing is for sure: Alabama will definitely give us a legitimate indication of just how good we will be this season. Hopefully the effects of the overdose of Kentucky we took this week wear off… and hopefully we don’t need drugs to really be that good.