Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators
Date and Time: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Florida -5
Tennessee vs. Florida TV Coverage: CBS
Jim McElwain started this season having no idea who his starting quarterback was going to be. After one game against Michigan, we're not sure he has any better ideas.
Feleipe Franks started under center for the Gators and was woeful, going just 5-for-9 for 75 yards while running for seven yards. UF did lead that game at halftime, but that was thanks to two defensive touchdowns. Malik Zaire came in thereafter and wasn't much better in his first game after transferring from Notre Dame.
So what's a Gator to do? UF hasn't really had much of an offense since Tim Tebow left town, and this is a huge problem that has to be addressed. McElwain hasn't tipped his hand yet with what he's going to do against the Vols, and that will make this one of the most interesting plots to follow heading into Week 3.
It must've felt nice for Butch Jones to get an easy one under his belt in Week 2 against Indiana State after struggling so badly with Georgia Tech.
The Volunteers flat out had no answers for the Georgia Tech triple option the entire game in Week 1 in Atlanta. They conceded 655 yards, yet forcing two turnovers ended up keeping them in the game. Tennessee had to fend off deficits of 21-7 and 28-14 to force overtime, and from there, stopping a two-point conversion in the second overtime proved to be the difference between the two squads.
Sure, the Vols are 0-2 ATS, but they're ranked in the Top 25 and will have a shot to seize early control of the SEC East if they can go on the road and beat the Gators.
The Last Meeting
Of course, the Volunteers looked a lot different offensively last year at this time than they do now, but the combination of Alvin Kamara, Jalen Hurd and Joshua Dobbs went on a tremendous run last season after falling down 21-3 in Rocky Top. The Vols scored the next 35 points to take over that game, giving them their first win in this series since 2004.
Tennessee vs. Florida Free Picks
Keep in mind as the week wears on that there was a slew of damage from Hurricane Irma, and there's no guarantee this game is going to ultimately get played. That said, all of the top online sportsbooks are putting lines up for this one, and Tennessee is only a sneaky short underdog in Gainesville.
The bottom line is that no one truly believes that Gators have the offense to keep up with the Quinten Dormady, John Kelly and company.
That said, we have to remember what Tennessee has been through of late. Its defense was on the field for a whopping 96 plays against Georgia Tech, then it had to turn around five days later and play against Indiana State. We don't care who you play again in that second game after playing on a Monday and facing 96 plays (86 of which were rushing plays); it's not going to be easy on the body either way.
Toss in the fact that the Volunteers are going to have to deal with the end of Irma as well over the course of the week and all of the emotions that will be surrounding playing in Gainesville after all of the devastation that just happened around the Sunshine State. We can definitely see UF getting the job done if it can find just a small bit of offense to rally around.
College Football ATS Pick: Play Florida at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Florida 24, Tennessee 13