Here we are already — Florida week. The Tennessee Volunteers (2-0) will head south to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators (1-1) on Saturday night, looking for their first win in The Swamp since 2003.
Florida bounced back from a week one loss to Utah with a 49-7 win over McNeese State. Tennessee was sleepwalking on Saturday night, unimpressively getting by Austin Peay, 30-13. The stage is now set for the SEC opener for both sides.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee is a seven point road favorite in the matchup. The total has been set at 57.5.
Both sides have questions entering this one. Florida was whipped on the road at Utah to open the year, even with the Utes playing with their backup quarterbacks. Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz struggled to get anything going for the Gators offensively, going deep into the second half without scoring a touchdown.
On the Tennessee side, it’s been a shaky start for Joe Milton, who so far has failed to keep the momentum from that big Orange Bowl performance to end the 2022 season. Drops from the receivers certainly haven’t helped, and the entire passing attack just seems to be lacking rhythm. Luckily for the Volunteers, the rushing attack has been stout, and you’d think Josh Heupel and Joey Halzle would continue to lean on that here.
There’s no question that Tennessee has the more talented roster in this one, but they’ve got to go clear this mental hurdle. They’ve quite literally invented ways to lose in Gainesville through the years, but Josh Heupel’s program seems ready to end that narrative. However, the offensive struggles over the last two weeks bring the confidence level down quite a bit entering the week.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN on Saturday night (September 16th).
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.