Time: 3:30 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM
Odds: Tennessee is favored to win by what started out as 8-point spread, but now it has dropped to 5 points (via OddsShark.com)
The No. 19-ranked Florida Gators and the No. 14-ranked Tennessee Volunteers will go head-to-head in this SEC showdown, where the Gators have won the last 11 meetings and could possibly make it number 12 on Saturday afternoon.
Even though there will be key players missing on both sides, this still will be a game you cannot afford to miss.
These teams are unbeaten thus far, and the Gators are underdogs coming into this game in Knoxville, but Tennessee won't take this lightly after their hard-earned wins. It has not been a walk in the park for the Volunteers this season despite being undefeated unlike their conference rivals, who have been “chomping” at every team they've faced.
With that being said, here are 3 things to watch.
Florida’s QB Austin Appleby debut
With Luke Del Rio out with a knee injury, the former Purdue backup QB will start on Saturday. This will be a huge mountain to climb for Appleby, but if he can pull this off and lead the team to victory, we can say for sure that the Gators are the team to watch in the SEC East. Last week, Appleby went 9-for-17 with 30 passing yards against North Texas after Del Rio went down.
They are ranked No. 1 in the nation and are unquestionably a determining factor in the game. Florida has only allowed an average of 130 yards per game... total. With the average of approximately 42 rushing and 88 yards passing, Tennessee will have a hard time scoring against this defense, for sure. They have limited their opponents to scoring one or none when it comes to touchdowns thus far.
Tennessee keeping their win streak alive
Okay, so I know this may look like Florida defense can really dominate and with a QB that we have slightly, and I mean slightly, seen play, that they could pull this win off; however, the Vols have a streak to keep alive.
Yes, a win streak.
They have not lost since November of last year. They have veterans players to keep this streak going in QB Joshua Dobbs and RB Jalen Hurd. It is question of will the Gators defense allow it?
All in all, this is a game that I'm looking foward to watching, in hopes of being shocked of what Austin Appleby can do and how Florida’s defense will stop Dobbs and Hurd. I'm going against the odds, I think Florida will have the upper-hand even without their starting quarterback, and their streak against the Vols continues on.
Prediction: Florida 23, Tennessee 21