Florida Gators readying for a raucous crowd in Lexington

For the first time in almost two years the Kentucky Wildcats will play in front of a sold out home crowd. Mark Stoops’ Wildcats have played 11 consecutive home games since they last sold out the newly named Kroger Field against Auburn back in October, 2015.

This week Kentucky announced a sell out crowd for the 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Florida Gators and the Wildcats have been a popular pick among national pundits. Local Lexington newspapers are even writing stories about the potential that Kentucky fans would rush the field after a win this weekend.

Needless to say, the environment should be especially hectic and hostile for the visiting team.

“I love it. As a player I relished playing on the road. I truly enjoyed playing on the road more than I did at home,” Florida head coach Jim McElwain said. “Why? I don’t know. I think it’s just using the energy of the opposition that hates you, for those three hours with that uniform on. The hostility, I don’t know how you can’t love it and I don’t know how you don’t play better on the road.”

McElwain has always enjoyed the history of rivalries throughout the SEC and going to play at historic venues. He does know that that sort of energy can affect individuals differently. Fortunately the Gators had the opportunity to play in a NFL stadium this season and they also played in front of more than 87,000 in The Swamp. The Gators know that Kentucky is coming for them and they’re prepping for that.

“It’s going to be a great night,”McElwain said. “I know this is what makes it fun, you go to a sold-out arena on the road. That’s why you do this stuff. This is fun. It’ll be interesting. It’ll be interesting to see where our team is.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC