Florida Gators footballvs Tennessee Volunteers Breakdown
Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Last meeting: Last year Florida defeated Tennessee 10-9
Last time out
- Florida defeated Kentucky 14-9
- Tennessee defeated Western Carolina 55-10
Meet the Volunteers
- Head Coach: Butch Jones (14-14 in over three seasons at Tennessee)
- Conference: Southeastern Conference Eastern Division
- 2015 Overall Record: 2-1
- 2015 Conference Record: 0-0
Player(s) to Watch
- Junior Quarterback, Joshua Dobbs. Dobbs has completed 58.1% of his passes for 474 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Sophomore Defensive End, Derek Barnett. Last year the freshman all American totaled 10 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. This year he has 1 sack and 1.5 tackles for loss
5 Things to Know About Tennessee
- Led by Jalen Hurd (100.0 yards per game) and Alvin Kamara (65.0), the Vols are rushing for 246.0 yards per game, third in the SEC and 17th in the NCAA.
- Tennessee has not beaten Florida in 10 years. The Vols last win in Gainesville came in 2003
- The Volunteers have scored 138 points over its first three games, the most through three games since scoring 171 to start the 1914 season.
- The Vols rank 2nd in the SEC and 13th in the NCAA in points per game (46.0).
- The Vols are 17th nationally and second in the SEC in punt return average at 19.9 per return.
5 Things to Pay Attention To
- Will Grier’s ball security. In each game this year, Grier has produced a turnover — although one interception is probably not his fault. One turnover occurred in the end zone and the others gave the opponent very good field position. When running Grier has been really loose with the football. If Florida is to win on Saturday. Grier will need to be mistake free and injury free. Florida will not have the luxury of bringing in Treon off the bench due to his suspension.
- Lines of Scrimmage. Both defensive lines have the ability to dominate this game. Florida will be full strength on the defensive line but Tennessee will be missing defensive end/linebacker Curt Maggitt. Both teams are not bringing dominate offensive lines, whoever can keep the other line at bay will go a long way to winning this game.
- Tennessee Attrition and Florida Suspensions. Tennessee has suffered a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball and Florida will be without Jalen Tabor and backup quarterback Treon Harris for the game. The depth of both teams will be tested. Watch the players filling in; they will be tested during this game. Fortunately for Florida, Quincy Wilson will fill in for Tabor; this will be Wilson’s second time filling in for Florida due to a starter being out in the Secondary.
- How Florida rushes Dobbs. It will be interesting to see how Florida approaches their rush against Joshua Dobbs. He is a dynamic runner and is deadly when the play breaks down. Florida may not choose to rush hard against Dobbs, but rather chose to keep him in the pocket and force him to find windows against the Florida secondary.
- Grier Pocket Presence and Rushing Attempts. Last week against Kentucky, Grier bailed early on many throws and chose to run with the ball, which limited Florida’s ability to push the ball down field. Grier will need to be more patient in the pocket to let the plays fully develop and give Florida a chance to create plays down the field.
5 Things to Expect
- A lot of pressure on Grier. Tennessee will test the young Grier and attempt to keep him off balance and force turnovers. Grier will have to show poise against the Tennessee pass rush. The Florida offensive line will be tested and regardless of the outcome someone is going to grow up on Saturday.
- More Antonio Callaway. Callaway is slowly becoming one of Florida’s more dynamic players. Last week he showed that on the one handed grab and the punt return. I believe McElwain and Nussmeier will attempt the get the true freshman more touches to utilize his athleticism.
- A lot Hurd and Kamara. Tennessee will lean heavily on the running game to get control of this game. They have two stud running backs to do that, along with the running ability of Joshua Dobbs.
- Florida Trickery. I expect the Gators to open the playbook at home and throw some things the Vols have not seen on tape. Wednesday McElwain alluded to showcasing the ‘GatorTail’ package with now backup quarterback Josh Grady. I expect some new wrinkles to get points in the red zone area.
- Something Unexpected. This series has produced some weird happenings lately. Whether it was career long field goals, Tyler Murphy and Treon Harris off the bench and we can go back through the years and find more. I expect a something no team expected to happen change the course of this game. Lately this has been in the Gators favor.
5 Keys to Victory
- Protect the quarterback. Tennessee will look to pressure Grier against the suspect Gator offensive line. Tennessee has a young but quality defensive line unit despite missing Curt Maggitt.
- Running Game must be effective. Florida’s running game does not have to be dominant, but it does need to be effective to keep Derek Barnett and the Tennessee pass rush honest. If they are able to pin their ears back and rush Grier. Florida could be in for a long day offensively.
- Keep Dobbs contained. Florida cannot allow Dobbs to create with his feet, where he is at his best. Florida will need to force Dobbs to beat them from the pocket.
- Keep Tennessee Off Balance. If Florida can slow down the Hurd/Kamara tandem, Tennessee will find it tough to move the ball against the Gator secondary, despite missing Jalen Tabor. Making Tennessee one dimensional will be major advantage for the Gators.
- Score Touchdowns in the Red Zone. Scoring in the red zone has not been a recent issue for the Gators and that is a trend that needs to be turned around. Florida’s missed on two opportunities last week that would have put the game out of reach. Florida cannot make those mistakes in the red zone against a better Tennessee roster.
5 Signs It Was a Good Day
- No turnovers and no special team mistakes. Florida has turned the ball over in each game this season and the last two weeks the kicking game has been an adventure. If Florida is clean in both of these areas and don’t leave any points on the field or give Tennessee any easy ones, the Gators will be in a great position to win this game.
- Dobbs held to less than 50 yards rushing. In Tennessee’s lone loss this season, Oklahoma held Dobbs to 12 yards on 14 carries including 3 sacks for -30 yards. If Dobbs cannot create plays with his feet and is forced to make plays from the pocket, the advantage goes to Florida. Dobbs was 13-31 for 125 yards with one touchdown and an interception in their lone loss to the Sooners. That type of day will not get it done for the Vols.
- Florida wins the rushing battle. During Florida’s current 10 game winning streak they’ve rushed for more yards in each game. If this occurs on Saturday afternoon, Florida will be a lot more efficient on offense, give Grier room to work on the outside and to his tight ends. The offensive line along with Taylor and the two Jordan’s will need to show up and keep Florida balanced.
- Hurd and Kamara are non-factors. Between Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, combined they average 165 ypg with a total of 8 touchdowns through 3 games. For Tennessee to win, their running game has to have a presence. Stopping these two will be priority number one.
- Powell and Robinson have multiple big plays. We have seen flashes from both Brandon Powell and Demarcus Robinson but this week will be a great time for them to get going. Big plays on the outside for the both of them will give the Gators a needed boost after the struggles to make consistent big plays the last two games.
The Prediction: Florida 21 Tennessee 17
This will be a tight game throughout. Tennessee will not be able to run the ball consistently and sustain drives against Florida’s defense. Florida will not be great on offense, but good enough. Grier will play a better game at home and Florida will find a win to come out on top.