The Tennessee Volunteers (2-1, 0-0 SEC) and the #11 Florida Gators (2-1, 0-1 SEC) get together for a Southeastern Conference rivalry contest in Week 4 of the college football season. The visiting Vols are coming off a 56-0 victory over Tennessee Tech, and the Gators look to rebound after a 31-29 defeat to Alabama.
Saturday’s contest kicks off at 7 p.m. EST inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Florida is a 19-point favorite, and the total over-under is at 64 points.
What to Know – Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols go on the road for the first time this season in their first conference matchup. Tennessee opened the season with a victory over Bowling Green (38-6) and dropped their only game of the year to Pittsburgh (41-34) in Week 2. In January, the Volunteers hired Josh Heupel to be the 27th head coach in the school’s history after a successful stint at UCF.
Through three weeks, the Volunteers are averaging 42.7 points and 422.0 yards of offense per game. The Vols’ defense is surrendering 15.7 points and 265.0 yards per contest.
Michigan transfer Joe Milton III was the Tennessee starter for the first two weeks but missed last week for an undisclosed reason. Milton is listed as the starter for Tennessee this week against the Gators. The Florida-native has completed 51.4% of his passes for 189 yards and one touchdown with two rushing scores.
Tennessee will need to control the clock and protect the football if they want to have a chance against the Gators on Saturday night.
What to Know – Florida Gators
After the first quarter last weekend, Florida trailed Alabama 21-3 and outscored the #1-ranked team in the nation 26-10 over the final three-quarters of play. The comeback was not enough, as a missed PAT in the second quarter came back to haunt Florida. Head coach Dan Mullen has never lost to Tennessee in three tries as the Gators leader.
The Gators score 35.3 points and average 553.0 yards of offense per game. Florida ranks second in the nation averaging 336.0 yards on the ground. Defensively, the Gators concede 21.7 points and 327.0 yards of offense a game.
With Anthony Richardson sidelined with a hamstring injury, junior quarterback Emory Jones played his best game as the Florida starting quarterback. The numbers won’t pop off the stat sheet, but the dual-threat signal-caller looked poised and calm in the pocket. Richardson should be good to go this week, so expect to see both QBs against the Vols.
The keys to a Gator victory will be to avoid a letdown after a slugfest against Alabama and avoid costly mistakes and penalties.
The Pick is In
The Swamp was rocking last weekend and should be packed full again to give the Vols a tough first road test of the season. Both teams are banged up and aren’t open about injuries, so it’ll be interesting to see who takes the field for warmups Saturday night.
Florida showed they could play with the best in the country last week, and the Gators bounce back with a convincing victory over their SEC East rival Saturday night.
Betting Pick: Florida Gators +19