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Tennessee - Florida: Rocky Top Talk Staff Predictions

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Can the Vols win in the Swamp?

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

After ending an 11-year losing streak against Florida in 2016, Tennessee heads to Gainesville where it has not won since 2003. Can the Vols break another streak and win in the Swamp? Our staff calls their shots below.


Conner Knapp: Tennessee 27, Florida 23

(Season picks: 2-0)

Something just tells me Tennessee is the better team in this game. I believe this year’s matchup will come down to which unit between Florida’s offense and Tennessee’s defense is able to step up and perform better than it has thus far this season. I also think Larry Scott has gotten a bit more comfortable calling plays and will make Saturday the John Kelly Power Hour and allow the Vols’ star back to carry the offense. Tennessee makes enough plays defensively to keep Florida at bay and beats the Gators for the second consecutive year.


Noah Taylor: Tennessee 14, Florida 17

(Season picks: 2-0)

When we did our preseason predictions of how Tennessee would do in 2017, I felt going to Gainesville and getting a win would be a tall order for this team. However, after watching Florida’s performance versus Michigan in week one, I feel better about the Vols’ chances to get their first win in the Swamp since 2003. Both of these teams have yet to form an identity this season, but we could find out more about them after Saturday. I’ll stick with my preseason pick, but this one could easily go the other way.


Evan Winter: Tennessee 17, Florida 20

(Season picks: 2-0)

Football is a week to week sport. Thus far, the 2017 season has been no different.

During the summer it looked as if Florida had the team to make another run at the SEC East division title. But suspensions, hurricanes, and bad play have turned the Gators into skinks.

Despite the fact that we don't really know anything about either team, every bone in my body is telling me to pick Tennessee. However, I feel like Florida will be ready for action after chewing on an ugly loss for almost two weeks. Adding the fuel that is Tennessee to the mix will only intensify the situation.

Tennessee makes some plays here and there, but in the end Florida will avoid the first 0-2 start since 1971.


Terry Lambert: Tennessee 16, Florida 13

(Season picks: 2-0)

I’ve counted this one as a Tennessee loss all summer long, but I’m changing my mind. The ongoing investigation is going to keep nine Gators out of this one — and judging from how Florida looked against Michigan, I’m not sold they can score enough to beat the Vols (That’s not to say I think Tennessee lights them up, either).

I may very well be overreacting, but I just have a gut feeling about this one. Butch Jones and Tennessee came oh-so-close to winning in Gainesville two years ago. I think John Kelly and Marquez Callaway make just enough plays to finish an undermanned Florida team.

Take the under, too.