It’s Florida week, meaning Tennessee will be tasked with going up against one of the best offensive attacks in the country. Dan Mullen has his Gators scoring a lot of points in 2020, thanks to stellar play from quarterback Kyle Trask. Helping Trask vault to the top of Heisman boards has been his stud tight end Kyle Pitts.
Pitts looks like he was built in a lab — 6-6, 246 pounds with the athletic ability of a wide receiver. NFL scouts have been drooling over his play all season long after he started the season with a bang, scoring four times against Ole Miss. He followed that with two touchdowns against South Carolina, and three against Kentucky.
Jeremy Pruitt and his defensive staff now have to figure out how to slow him down on Saturday.
“I think they’ve got probably the best tight end in the country in Kyle Pitts,” Pruitt said on Monday. “Nobody has really been able to slow him down. The thing has really impressed me the most about him, just in his game, everybody knew he was a very good receiving tight end, but I think you could just look at this season and he’s done a tremendous job blocking in the C-area that has really elevated his game. Nobody really talks about that, but I see it.”
Pitts missed a few weeks following the Georgia game, but returned last weekend against Kentucky. On the season, Pitts has just 29 catches, but 11 of those have gone for six points. He’s averaging north of 17 yards per catch on the year.
He’s one of those players that you know you probably aren’t going to stop, you just hope you’re not the next team he drops three touchdowns on.
“It doesn’t matter how we’ve defended (tight ends), none of them have been like this,” Pruitt said. “In all my years coaching, I believe he is the most talented guy we have ever played against. He’s a guy that can line up and win one-on-ones against corners, one-on-ones against safeties, linebackers. Like I said, he’s really improved in blocking the interior part. He’s a complete football player and playing as good as anybody in our conference.”
Tennessee is dealing with several contact-tracing issues this week, reportedly including two defensive starters. Nickel Shawn Shamburger would likely see plenty of action against Pitts, but he’s out for the rest of the season. So Tennessee’s plan for containing Pitts is a mystery this weekend, perhaps dependent on who is available.
Florida and Tennessee will kickoff on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.