Let the Rivalry Resume
A rivalry dating back to 1916 will feature the 46th meeting between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators. Saturday, the rivals clash in Gainesville as the 24th ranked Gators host the 23rd ranked Vols. Below is a video that should get the blood pumping for the SEC collision this weekend.
History buffs and alumni enthusiasts know what is at stake all too well. Prior to the rivalry, the Vols bested the Gators in the first 10 meetings. However, Florida has dominated the series over the past few decades. The Gators streak ending victory in 1954 prefaced the stewing rivalry during the ’90s and ’00s. The Vols added 10 victories since, with their most recent coming last season in Knoxville by 10 points.
Florida leads the overall series with 26 wins to Tennessee’s 20. This season has been somewhat tumultuous for both teams in different ways. The Gators were marred by suspensions that are still lingering. Tennessee had suspension issues and injury concerns. Both teams lost a good chunk of contributors via the NFL Draft.
New Faces, Same Intensity
For the most part, the match up is pretty even. In Florida’s opening game against Michigan, Florida’s only touchdowns were both two defensive interceptions returned for scores. The Wolverine defense feasted on the Gators, who struggled to generate any kind of offensive rhythm. Florida’s game was cancelled last week due to Hurricane Irma. The Gators will be well rested and ready for action against their conference foes.
The Vols opened up their year in a barn-burning, double-overtime victory against Georgia Tech. Tennessee’s defense gave up a whopping 655, with 535 of those yards coming on the ground. Georgia Tech dominated time of possession with roughly 41 minutes and some change. With only 18 minutes of ball possession, the Vols managed to generate 42 points to seal the deal following a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Yellow Jackets.
Last week, Tennessee obliterated Indiana State. The Gators will obviously be a much bigger challenge. The Vols are looking to make it two in a row, while Florida fights to avoid an 0-2 season start.
Stats referenced at ESPN.com
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