For all of you out there eagerly anticipating a Tennessee beatdown in The Swamp on Saturday, I have a feeling you’re going to be disappointed at the end of the day.
I’m not saying Tennessee is going to win this game. I’m saying this game is going to be a lot more competitive than people think, including theoddsmakers, who have the Gators favored by almost 30 points.
That spread is too big. Way too big. If I were a betting man (I’m not) and if I had a bundle (I don’t), I’d take Tennessee and the points in a heartbeat. No question.
Here’s why: Monte Kiffin and the UT defense.
Tennessee has been gearing up for this game since Lane Kiffin became the head coach back in December, which means Monte Kiffin, the defensive mastermind, has been looking at tape and breaking down Urban Meyer’s spread defense for months. This game is like the Super Bowl forKiffin and the Vols. This is a chance to play the No. 1 team in the nation on the road in a game no one thinks they have a chance. A UT win would be huge forKiffin’s program.
The Vols do have a chance, and it rests with what appears to be a strong defense, one that is giving up only 134.5 yards a game. I know, UT hasn’t really played against a good offense yet (Western Kentucky was inept and UCLA was starting aredshirt freshman quarterback), but this is a fast, physical group and Monte Kiffin will have a plan to get after the UF offense with a variety of blitzes and zone blitzes.
My thought is that this game will play out a lot like last year’s Miami game. The UF offense struggled early in that game, Miami stayed in with defense, and the Gators didn’t start feeling comfortable until PercyHarvin scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put UF up 16-3.
I see a similar scenario in The Swamp on Saturday, so I’m picking the same score: Florida 26, Tennessee 3.