Gators seek 32nd straight vs. Kentucky, can tie for 3rd-longest streak

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The last time Dan Mullen was on the sidelines for a Kentucky-Florida game, it wasn't the most one-sided series in college football.

It was second.

Now, a decade later, Mullen has rejoined the Gators with "The Streak" on the verge of moving another step closer to NCAA history.

No. 25 Florida (1-0) is seeking its 32nd consecutive victory against Kentucky (1-0) when the teams open Southeastern Conference play in the Swamp on Saturday. It's the longest active streak in an uninterrupted series and the fourth-longest in NCAA history.

"It's 31, right? It'll be 32 after Saturday," Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson said confidently.

If Florida wins, the streak would be tied for third longest in college football, matching Oklahoma's run against Kansas State (1937-68). The only ones longer: Notre Dame over Navy (43 straight between 1964 and 2002) and Nebraska over Kansas (36 in a row between 1969 and 2004).

Kentucky hasn't beaten Florida since 1986 and hasn't won in Gainesville since 1979.

Wildcats coach Mark Stoops is winless in five tries against the Gators, although three of the past four have been decided by six points or less. Florida needed triple overtime to preserve the streak in 2014 and rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter last year.

Stoops openly embraces the streak, knowing what it would mean to end it.

"I never dance around that question," Stoops said. "It is important to us for that reason, but we can't focus on it for that reason. We need to focus on it because it's this year. It's an SEC team, it's in the East and we want to win some football games, and they are next on the schedule.

"That's truthfully what it is about. These guys cannot worry about 30-some years and all that. They really can't. Winning is important to our team each and every week, and that's the approach we'll have."

In Mullen's final year as Florida's offensive coordinator (2008), the Gators made it 22 straight against Kentucky.

"I imagine, someday, the streak will be broken," said Mullen, who lost once in nine games against UK during his Mississippi State tenure. "That's just the nature of sports, right? ... I'm confident. We want to go win the game. To me, I want to win the game because it's our SEC opener for this season. That's got to be the whole focus and not worry about anything else.

"I try not to think about it in those terms because it really has no effect on us winning or losing the game this year."