Currently Tennessee is a 4.5 point underdog to the Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Here’s how our staff thinks the game will turn out.
This is one of the hardest games to predict every year… even if Florida has won eleven of the last 12 meetings. Something wild usually happens that swings the momentum to one team. This year’s game is no different. We don’t know what to expect from Florida’s offense with two weeks off and key players suspended. The Tennessee defense could help them out and give up a couple of TDs that should have been stopped.
Until last year, this rivalry has been one sided for a long time. The Vols overcame a 21-3 deficit to come back and beat the Gators 38-28. This year’s story lines are a bit different. Florida’s roster is missing 9 pieces due to suspensions and all are expected to miss Saturday’s game. Combine that with going through the emotions of Hurricane Irma.
It’s the toughest game of the year to predict and this year it’s even tougher. There are just so many questions. What will Tennessee’s defense look like? What will Florida’s offense look like? Can the Vols get better play from their corners? Will Florida start a quarterback for a complete game.
With all the unknowns, I had to fallback on what I do know. John Kelly is an alpha dog with a “never-say-die” attitude. He’s the leader of this offense and will command that Tennessee stay in this game till the very finish. He’s the x-factor here and I think he has over 100 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. He gives the Vols their first victory in “The Swamp” since 2003.
Tennessee 31, Florida 27
This game won’t be fun to watch. After the last two matchups delivered one exciting moment after another, this game will likely replicate the 2014 game, where Florida won in Neyland, 10-9. So in honor of that game, I say Florida edges Tennessee in The Swamp, 10-9. At the moment, Dormady’s inaccuracy downfield worries me and I’m not confident that Tennessee’s offensive line will provide John Kelly with much room. Although the Gator offense is miserably bad, Florida likely scores a defensive touchdown, which will be the difference.
Florida 10, Tennessee 9
This is going to be an ugly game. Florida’s offense is non-existent while Tennessee’s defense has been underwhelming going back to last season. If the weather is supposed to be as rainy as it is believed to be, look for both teams to stick to the ground and run the ball. This game is going to come down to whoever wins in the trenches and makes the least mistakes.
Tennessee 24, Florida 21