HOW TO WATCH
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: Florida (-14)
Records ATS: Tennessee (1-2) | Florida (0-2-1)
It’s not what it used to be, but the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers will tangle yet again on the third Saturday of September. For the 49th time, the Gators and Volunteers will be on opposite ends, as one side will hope to keep a heavy advantage in their favor.
The Gators have won all but one game against the Vols since the 2005 season. This 13-1 run that UF has gone on since the foot of Chris Hetland helped propel them to victory back on September 17, 2005 has vaulted them up from being 15-19 against their orange and white rivals to being 28-20. The paradigm shift has certainly taken the wind out of this rivalry (although Tennessee’s lack of success has played a definite role in that too) and made it very, very much one-sided.
As far as this upcoming episode? Well, expecting a Tennessee win here is a little difficult to see. The Vols got into the win column for the first time this year against Chattanooga last week. But they have otherwise looked very shaky. Florida hasn’t looked spectacular by any means, but they’ve looked solid enough to expect victory.
They will be without Feleipe Franks for the remainder of the season, of course, as Franks went down with a dislocated ankle last week in the Gators’ win over the Kentucky Wildcats. So, it will be Kyle Trask who will have the task of commandeering the ship and leading UF to a win. Trask was competent enough in relief last week over UK to give the belief that he should be able to man the ship.
He will face a defense that ranks 55th in points per game allowed, but if there’s one strength the UT defense has it’s against the pass. They’ve allowed just 149 yards per game, which sits them 14th in the nation as of writing. They have permitted only 48.8 percent of passes to be completed against them, a mark which ranks ninth in the country as of writing, as well. UF would probably be wise to run the ball, as the Vols have allowed 157 rushing yards per game through their first three of the year.
This one’s going to be an uphill battle for Tennessee. Florida sits in the Top 20 in points allowed per game, 30th in rushing yards per game and in the Top 25 in yards per carry allowed. The Vols might have to try and pass to win this one, as Florida’s defense through the air has been good, but not great. But Tennessee is only averaging 217.33 yards per game through the air, so it might be a tall order for them to accomplish that. Jarrett Guarantano is going to need to play his tail off to say the least.