Heading into the season, I believed that this Tennessee game would be crucial for the Gators because a win would keep the early momentum going for Dan Mullen in his rebuilding project. And a loss would, at least temporarily, stall it.
Now, after what happened two weeks ago in The Swamp with the devastating loss to Kentucky, this is a must-win game for Florida.
If the Gators fall to 0-2 and out of the Eastern Division race in September, the rest of the season could head south in a hurry. Looking at the rest of the SEC schedule (at Mississippi State, LSU, at Vanderbilt, Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina), it is conceivable that UF could end up going 0-8 in league play if the Gators don’t win Saturday night’s game.
Mullen talked this week about how this is going to be a fun challenge. What it really is is a scary one.
The Vols and Gators are two pretty evenly matched teams. Both have issues on offense and on the lines of scrimmage. Both have given up some big plays on defense and have appeared vulnerable.
The big difference is UT has a the home-field advantage. And it’s a big one. About 100,000 big.
When in doubt, go with the home team.
I just have a funny feeling that the Gators are going to make the Vols look good because of the shaky play on both lines of scrimmage. Lose the lines of scrimmage, lose the game. We saw it two weeks ago, we’ll see it again Saturday.
Prediction: Tennessee 20, Florida 9