Florida had two easy victories to begin the year. Beat an underrated Wyoming team to begin the year, 32-14. Then blew out overmatch La Tech 41-3.
QB Chrik Leak looks as though he can run Urban Meyer’s offense, but he will be tested in this game more than the last two 918kiss put together. But, on offense the big question will be whether the Gators can establish a running game against the Vols tough front seven.
After sitting out the opener due to a suspension, running back DeShawn Wynn scored three touchdowns and rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries in the last game.
Gators still have problems along the offensiive line, which they’ll need to take of in a hurry.
On defense, Florida’s guys have been impressive, albeit against inferior offenses. Luckily for their unproven secondary, Tennessee’s QB situation is a little bit of a question mark. They can expect to see a whole lot of Gerald Riggs in this big rivalry game.
Tennessee survived a scare from UAB two weeks ago, where Rick Clausen captured the starting QB job from Erik Ainge. Clausen replaced Ainge and completed 17 of 24 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ainge completed just five of 14 passes for 57 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Like stated earlier, expect to see plenty of RB Gerald Riggs. Also, don’t be surprised if you see both QB’s split time in this game.
The Vols had a bye last week to prepare for this one, but it may not be an advantage. Fulmer has had off weeks to prepare for the Gators before and lost 5 of those 6 times in the Spurrier era.
The positive about the off week is that it gave Tennessee a chance to get some of their players healthy, namely C Richard Gandy (knee), WR Robert Meachem (ankle) and LB Jason Mitchell (knee)
Fulmer was not happy with what he saw out of his squad in the opener.
“Offensively, it was the silly interceptions, the silly dropped balls, the tip-toeing around of running backs, the tip-toeing around by the offensive linemen,” Fulmer said. “We came out and practiced not tip-toeing.
“It’s all of us. It’s receivers blocking down field consistently, the running backs making a cut, the fullback finishing a block. On offense, you’ve got to have everybody on the same page doing the right things.”
Defensively, expect the Vols to bring plenty of pressure against Leak and the questionable offensive line of Florida. The front seven want to be in the backfield all day. They faced a similar QB in Hackney, but Leak is qite a bit better.