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#9 University of TENNESSEE @ University of FLORIDA


Neyland Stadium
Photo TJ Chapman

The Tennessee Volunteers (2-0 overall 0-0 SEC) will travel to Gainesville, FL to take on the Florida Gators (1-1 overall 0-0 SEC).


BROADCAST INFORMATION:


- 7:00 PM Eastern Time Kickoff on ESPN, @ Gainesville, FL

- Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will be on the call for ESPN with Holly Rowe on the sideline

- On the Tennessee side the radio broadcast will be on FM 107.7 and FM 99.1. On the Florida side, the radio broadcast will be on FM 95.3 and AM 850.



WHAT’S AT STAKE


The Volunteers are looking to beat the Gators in Gainesville for the first time since 2003. They are also looking to get wins in back-to-back seasons against Florida for the first time since 2003-2004. The Gators stumbled in a 2023 season-opening loss at Utah but bounced back to defeat FCS McNeese State 49-7 in week two. Tennessee soundly defeated Virginia in week one but looked bad in a week two win over FCS Austin Peay. This is the first SEC game for both teams in 2023.



KEY PLAYERS - University of Tennessee

QB Joe Milton – Tennessee

RB Jaylen Wright – Tennessee

KEY PLAYERS - University of Florida

QB Graham Mertz – Florida

WR Ricky Pearsall – Florida


KEY MATCHUPS:


Tennessee Quarterback Joe Milton vs. the Florida secondary. Milton has thrown for 429 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Florida secondary has zero interceptions and the Gator defense has yet to create a turnover in 2023. If Milton can tighten up his accuracy and touch the Vols quarterback should have a big game.



Florida Wide Receiver Ricky Pearsall vs. the Tennessee secondary. Pearsall leads the Gators in receptions with 14 and receiving yards with 215. Pearsall has double the receptions and more than three times the yards as the next Gator receiver. While the Tennessee defense has 11 sacks after two games, the secondary has only generated one interception. If the Vols’ secondary can shut down Pearsall, the Gator's passing attack will be crippled unless another Florida receiver can step up and make some plays.


PREDICTION:


As stated, this is the SEC opener for both teams. The University of Florida looked better last week against FCS competition while the University of Tennessee struggled. The Vols pass rush is solid, but the secondary has been a question mark the past few seasons. I think there are just too many holes in the Florida roster, and I am not sold on Graham Mertz in the Billy Napier offense. Tennessee gets that elusive win in Gainesville, 33-31

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