Tennessee versus Florida predictions
By: John Dunn
The All Vol Call in Show
September 19, 2019
Florida -- one of Tennessee's most hated rivals. If you ask anyone born after 1990 who the Vols' biggest rival is, they'll probably tell you "Florida".
That's because throughout one of the most dominant decades in college football history for the SEC, from 1992-2002 both Florida and Tennessee were among the elite in the NCAA.
However, times have changed and the Vols have one victory over Florida in the last 14 match ups. Not to mention, Tennessee hasn't won at Florida since 2003.
Even though the Vols suffered arguably the worst loss in program history in week one and basically handed BYU a victory the following week, there is a sense of cautious optimism heading into this game.
There are rumblings among the fan base that gives the general idea that a lot of folks think that Tennessee is capable of winning this game. Are they?
John Dunn: Anyone that has ever watched the show, knows me in person or has ever had a five minute conversation with me knows how much I dislike Florida. The fans, the school, their teams, the state, their colors -- you name it. I grew up in the hay-day of Tennessee football and watched us routinely compete with Florida. I remember in 2004 when Jayson Swain caught a touchdown pass from Erik Ainge and James Wilhoit missed the PAT, but redeemed himself with a 50-yard go-ahead field goal and we beat the Gators at home.
I want to feel that again, and winning Saturday in The Swamp would be a good place to start. I don't like that this game is at noon, but I do like that we are coming off of a victory in which the kick off was noon as well. The victory against Chattanooga will be big in helping Tennessee gain confidence moving forward.
A win against the Gators would skyrocket this team's confidence and help them in future match ups. Expect Jauan Jennings to have a big game, as he always does against Florida. I expect to see a faster Jarrett Guarantano this game. By that, I mean I expect him to make faster reads and timelier decisions with the football.
I expect our defense to come out and be flying around all over the field. As long as they don't gamble in coverage, we should be able to hang with the Florida offense with no issues. If Bryce Thompson does indeed play, that will be big for the Tennessee defense.
Florida will be starting back-up quarterback Kyle Trask, who looked like he may fit the offense better in the tail-end of the Kentucky game. They will also utilize Emory Jones, who is a very talented dual-threat quarterback. The Vols had trouble in week one against the Georgia State dual-threat quarterback. Tennessee will have to get into Trask's and Jones' heads early and often if they stand any chance of winning this game.
Florida's defense is one of the best in the country, and with problems on the offensive line, it could be a long day for the Vols. Florida is a top-10 team and Tennessee is playing them on the road at noon. As much as I hate to say this..
Prediction: Florida 42 - Tennessee 28.
Rachel Ward: Going into Gainesville this weekend, the Vols are going to have to do everything right. Coming with momentum off of a Neyland shutout 45-0 against Chattanooga, it was the game the Vols needed to amp up the team’s energy and confidence.
While many know that Chattanooga doesn’t exactly measure up to an SEC or other D1 opponent, it was a game where the Vols showed up and looked like they were ready to play football and executed with precision. It was a game going in the right direction. In a narrow victory over an unranked Kentucky team, Florida didn’t show up to play in the way many expected.
As the Vols head on the road for the first time this season, Gainesville is not easy territory to head into. The topic of conversation has revolved around the fact that Florida QB Feleipe Franks is out for what is predicted to be the rest of the season, with backup QB Kyle Trask starting on Saturday. Not only that, but Florida plans to use two QB’s, redshirt freshman Emory Jones included, so the Vols will have to be prepared in changing game plans defensively based on the two QB’s style of play.
Again, a big part of this game will lie with Jarrett Guarantano. While he played well and looked much more comfortable on Saturday, it will be interesting to see how the atmosphere in “The Swamp” affects his play and mentality. Defensively, the Vols forced multiple turnovers against Chattanooga last weekend and came out strong from the start of the 1st quarter.
That same force will he needed in Gainesville, but with a Florida team who is likely to show up strong defensively as well, I think it will come down to offensive protection in who can provide better protection for the their quarterback and create pockets for the run game.
Prediction: Florida 28 - Tennessee 17.
Chandler Smith: Tennessee faces their toughest test of the season: a trip to The Swamp. It’s also a place where they haven’t won in 16 years. Florida is without starting quarterback Felipe Franks, but junior Kyle Trask held his own in relief duty against the Cats last week.
Given the fact that he has had a week running the first team in practice, he will be ready for a Tennessee team that desperately needs to win. Florida is nowhere close to perfect -- two of their three games could have ended in losses. The Gators playing at home gives them the edge in this one. Should Tennessee have hosted, this game could truly go either way. On a hot day in The Swamp, Florida shows that Trask is more than capable of leading his team.
Prediction: Florida 28- Tennessee 13.
Matthew Whalen: The Vols walk into The Swamp with a lot less fan fare than they were expecting at this point in the season. It is never easy to walk into Gainesville and come out with a win.
With the way Tennessee has played so far this season, it could be a long day in The Swamp. Coach Pruitt must have this team playing at a level they haven't seen they can play at this season. Florida ran away from Tennessee in Knoxville last season due to some very costly mistakes made on both sides of the ball. This Florida team is also coming off of a big win in Lexington that could prove beneficial. Kyle Trask came in after a severe injury to Feleipe Franks and lead Florida to a comeback victory.
The Franks injury will require preparation for Trask as well as Emory Jones. Florida does show it can give up big plays through the air. So if Jarrett Guarantano can get some time and make good reads, his arm could keep Tennessee in this game. Overall I think it's too much for Tennessee. Although I do think Tennessee covers the spread in this game. Florida is just too much to overcome.
Prediction: Florida 23 - Tennessee 17