Tennessee vs. Florida
I highly doubt that Tennessee fans would ever see the day where they would be excited to play against Florida because they will be a much easier opponent than what they’ve just seen. That is the case this week and Tennessee limps into Gainesville after getting dismantled 59-14 by an insanely talented Oregon team at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The scary thing is, Oregon could have won by more and that’s a huge tip of the hat to Oregon because Tennessee is a decent team – just not the program that used to live atop the college football world with the likes of Peyton Manning and Tee Martin at the helm.
One thing is certain, the Vols most definitely will not mistake the Florida offense with what they just saw from Oregon. The Gators have yet to find their rythym on offense and had an extra week to stew over their 21-16 loss to Miami two weeks ago. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has yet to live up to the hype during his recruitment, although running back Matt Jones is finally healthy and should be able to rack up yards against the Vols defense that has been giving up over 155 yards on the ground.
Tennessee has to be asking “where do we go from here?” after the pounding it took from Oregon. The Vols took some momentum to Eugene after pasting Western Kentucky by 32 points, but that was erased courtesy of the Ducks. The Tennessee passing game has been weak all season (114th in the nation) and will be severely tested against the Gators. Florida is giving up just 158 yards through the air and a TOTAL of 100 yards on the ground after two games. Quarterback Justin Worley will have a chance to prove his worth once again, but if he struggles expect Butch Jones to give him the quick hook and to see backup Nathan Peterman in relief. If Tennessee is going to salvage the season, they need to beat Florida or risk getting buried in the gauntlet of SEC foes.
What will happen: Tennessee will come out swinging early as Florida will be a bit rusty from the week off. I expect the Vols to catch Florida coming out flat and build a first half lead that has the fans in Gainesville sweating before Florida’s rushing attack eventually pull away. That being said, this will be closer than the experts think.
Prediction: Florida 26 Tennessee 17
The Play: Tennessee +17
2013 ATS Record: 4-5