Tennessee (@6.0) vs Florida (@1.12)

Our Prediction:

Florida will win

Tennessee – Florida Match Prediction | 22-09-2019 12:00

While Floridas calling card in recent years has been its defense, it has been gashed on the ground this season. Tennessee's offensive line issues, including a season-ending ACL injury to center Brandon Kennedy, could make Chandler and Co.s task more difficult, but the Gators have yet to prove they can withstand a barrage on the ground. Florida gave up 303 yards rushing to Kentuckyhardly an SEC powerhouseand has ceded an average of 199 rushing yards over its first three games.

Its well known that the staff focused on this game before it even started. That same team is missing their regular starting quarterback, and is also dealing with injuries across its defensive line. Pruitt and his staff know they could make a statement by heading into Gainesville and leaving with a victory over a top-10 team that has looked vulnerable to start the season. Its not hard to see why: among the benchmarks that Tennessee fans require for a successful season, beating Florida is near the top.

If the run game isnt working, he cant be afraid to air the ball out some. On paper, this game could really go either way. Kentucky was able to move the ball fairly well against Florida using a lot of misdirection and play action, and they got the quarterback involved in the ground game. It will be interesting to see what offensive coordinator Tyson Helton may decide to take away from that film. The unit has gotten better in every game, they have done an above average job pass blocking, and they have the best player on the entire field in Trey Smith. Tennessee has plenty of play-makers on offense, and they need to figure out the best ways to get the ball in their hands in order to be successful. Whichever unit can win that match-up will have a big upper hand in this game. Tennessees offensive line has struggled this year, but they will be up against a front seven in Florida that hasnt been very good themselves. Right now, I ever-so-slightly lean towards the Vols in that match-up. The passing game has looked great through three games, and they should have a chance to make plays against an average Gator secondary.

Florida:The Gators got back on the winning track last week, when first-year coach Dan Mullen's crew dispatched of visiting Colorado State 48-10. With that said, quarterback Feleipe Franks went just 8-of-15 for 119 yards, two touchdowns and one pick against the Rams -- one week after he didn't look sharp until late in the loss to the Wildcats. Defensively, the Gators haven't exactly packed the punch that typical defenses in Gainesville have. What Florida lacks in the passing game, it somewhat makes up for on the ground. Jordan Scarlett, Dameon Pierce and Lamical Perine lead a Gators rushing attack that averages 5.72 yards per carry.

When Florida Has the Ball

Unfortunately for the Vols, star linebacker CeCe Jefferson returned for the Gators last weekend, and linebacker David Reese will be a full-go this weekend too. That will drastically change the power and scheme of Floridas defense, and this could be a very different defense than what we saw against Kentucky, a defense that gave up over 300 yards of rushing to the Wildcats.

The Gators are also ninth in Division I ball with only 60.7 points allowed per contest. They were ahead by double digits in the second half, but collapsed and got beaten by late-game undergoal stab by Gamecocks star Chris Silva. Then they will fly back home to meet the Vols. The Gators didnt know what hit them last Saturday, when they lost their opening game in SEC play against the South Carolina Gamecocks at home, 71-69. KenPom has the Gators defense ranked ninth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Floridas defense will be put into an acid test by Williams, Schofield, and the rest of the Volunteers, but cracking the Gators isnt that easy either. Its a loss thats hard to shake off, but the Gators will have a chance to rid that bitter taste out of their mouths in a road game against the Arkansas Razorbacks this Wednesday. A win against the Razorbacks will bolster Floridas confidence heading into a tough matchup with a team like Tennessee.

That vote of confidence should be music to Tennessees ears. But Frankss lack of passing prowess may not force Pruitts hand on play calls. While you cant discern much from the Vols two most recent gameslopsided victories over East Tennessee State and UTEPthey surely used those pressure-free matchups to experiment with defensive packages and tactics. With its unremarkable crew of ends and linebackers, Tennessee should look to blitz Florida.

A pair of SEC East programs still very much in transition with new coaches are squaring off on Saturday night in Knoxville when Florida takes on rival Tennessee on Rocky Top. Let's break it down as two new coaches go head-to-head in this series for the first time since 1970. Who will prevail Saturday night? The Volunteers are fresh off a shutout win over UTEP, while the Gators beat up on Colorado State last weekend -- one week after the 31-year winning streak over Kentucky was snapped.

Because of this, as well as the general relationship between the two programs, Jeremy Pruitt and Dan Mullen are going to find themselves being compared to each other a lot in the next few years. First, it is a huge rivalry game, and Neyland is bound to be electric Saturday night. This is such an interesting match-up to me for so many reasons. Saturdays game is the first edition of what could become a coaching rivalry. But also, both teams are in their first season under a new head coach, with each coach in some sort of rebuild.

One of the fiercest rivalries in college football takes place Saturday night on Rocky Top

With Franks struggling, I think Guarantano has his first defining moment as a Vol. Every UT player is remembered for what they do against Florida, and Guarantano is ready for the moment. If the o-line can just be average, I think Guarantano picks apart a struggling Florida secondary. He has the weapons at receiver, running back, and tight end to move the offense up and down the field. Granted, Guarantano playing well could also be impacted by how well the offensive line plays. The offensive line needs to play well enough to give Guarantano just enough time to make a play, and I think they will.

The key for Tennessee is its defensive line owning the line of scrimmage against a Florida offensive front that looked horrendous against the Wolverines two weeks ago. The Vols have a reliable running back in John Kelly (208 yards, four touchdowns), an upstart playmaker in Marquez Callaway (152 yards, three touchdowns) and a quarterback in Quinten Dormady who seemed to gain some confidence late in the double overtime win over Georgia Tech in the season opener. Tennessee: It hasn't been the prettiest start to the season for Tennessee, but 2-0 is 2-0, and a win over Florida will go a long way for a Volunteer team that would love nothing more to start a winning streak over the Gators.

Tennessee:It takes a little while for a team to get used to a new coach, but the Volunteers defense looked sharp in head coach Jeremy Pruitt's third game -- a win over UTEP in which they allowed 2.63 yards per play. I don't care who the opponent is, that's promising. What's more, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano averaged over 10 yards per passing attempt for the second straight game.

No. 24 Florida in one of the best rivalries in college football. 23 Tennessee will take its 2-0 record on the road against No. The Vols are fresh off a cake walk win over Indiana State, while the Gators had two weeks to recover from the loss to Michigan due to a cancelled game last weekend against Northern Colorado. That does not mean Florida had extra time to prepare for Tennessee, however, as it was riding out Hurricane Irma and hoping for the best.

If the Vols win this game then that means Guarantano will have a good game. I wasnt very high on him in the offseason, but through three games he has certainly proved me wrong. Tyson Helton is known to be a great developer of quarterbacks, and his impact has been evident. He will have an efficient night passing and throw for at least one score.