NCAAF PREVIEWS |

Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers Preview and Predictions 09-22-2018 in NCAAF


Florida and Tennessee will battle under the lights Saturday as the Volunteers open their SEC slate at home against the rival Gators. Both schools come off resounding victories -- Florida shut down Colorado State 48-10 and Tennessee blanked UTEP 24-0 -- but they are rebuilding under new head coaches and seek their first victory of the season over a Power 5 opponent.

Head coaches Dan Mullen (Florida) and Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee) are on a mission to restore the glory to a storied rivalry that has certainly seen better days, back to the era when they ruled the conference, combining for 10 of the 12 SEC titles between 1989-2000. For Mullen, a positive step in that direction would be avoiding an 0-2 conference start after losing to Kentucky two weeks ago in his SEC debut as Gators' coach, while Pruitt focuses on ending the Volunteers' nine-game SEC skid. "There's a lot of people out there who still think it's a big game," Mullen told reporters. "I think the feel within the program, both programs obviously want to get back where this has a big something to do with who wins the (SEC) East. I think that always adds to the rivalry." The last four meetings were all decided by 10 points or less, including last season's thriller that ended with the Gators scoring on a 63-yard Hail Mary as time expired to give Florida 12 victories in the last 13 meetings with the Volunteers.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Florida -4.5.

ABOUT FLORIDA (2-1, 0-1 SEC): No doubt, Feleipe Franks' biggest college play came on that winning throw against the Volunteers last season, but the quarterback has had his ups and downs and while he is learning a new offense under Mullen, he went 0-for-6 in the first quarter last week before hitting 8-of-9 with two TDs the rest of the way and he completed only 17 of 38 passes in the loss to Kentucky. The ground attack has sputtered at times and last week's injury to backup running back Malik Davis (broken foot) won't help, but Mullen will try to take pressure off Franks and unleash running back Jordan Scarlett on a Volunteers' run defense surrendering just 112.7 yards per game. The Gators' defense was manhandled at the line of scrimmage the first two weeks, especially by Kentucky (303 rushing yards allowed), but the unit stiffened up considerably against Colorado State (70 yards rushing) and more of the same will be needed against the Volunteers.

ABOUT TENNESSEE (2-1, 0-0): QB Jarrett Guarantano hasn't proven to be a big-time passing threat just yet, with his highest yardage total coming in Week 1's 40-14 loss to West Virginia when he threw for 172 yards and a score, but his 72.2 completion percentage ranks him second in the SEC. Guarantano may not need to be a gunslinger, however, if sophomore running back Ty Chandler produces as he did a week ago against UTEP, when he scampered for a career-high 158 yards (13.2 yards per carry) and a touchdown -- an 81-yarder that was the team's longest run since 2006. The defense ranks third in the SEC and 14th in the nation in total defense (291.7 yards per game) after limiting the last two opponents to just 164 yards per game, but the pass defense was torn apart by West Virginia (429 yards) and that could be a problem once again if the pass rush doesn't improve (five sacks in three games).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Florida leads Tennessee by a 27-20 series edge, including 11 straight victories between the 2005 and 2015 seasons.

2. This is just the second time in this series that both schools have new head coaches.

3. In just three games, the Volunteers' wide receivers have converted four plays of 50 yards or more, already tying last season's total.

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Key Players to Watch

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Stadium

Neyland Stadium
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
Capacity: 102,455

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Last Injuries

tennessee-volunteers-football Stats 2018-2019

Passing
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Jarrett Guarantano 12 0 140.971 0 246 153 3 0 0 12 1907
Keller Chryst 6 0 130.784 0 51 23 2 0 0 3 450
Russing
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Ty Chandler 11 0 630 0 115 4
Tim Jordan 12 0 522 0 132 3
Madre London 10 0 206 0 42 3
Jeremy Banks 7 0 185 0 52 3
Jordan Murphy 7 0 58 0 2 0
Receiving
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Marquez Callaway 11 0 592 0 37 0 2
Josh Palmer 12 0 484 0 23 0 2
Jauan Jennings 11 0 438 0 30 0 3
Ty Chandler 11 0 183 0 19 0 3
Jordan Murphy 7 0 155 0 11 0 1
Defense
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Nigel Warrior 12 0 41 23 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Daniel Bituli 12 0 39 40 0 1 0 0 1 1 5 7
Baylen Buchanan 12 0 31 18 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 3
Darrin Kirkland Jr. 12 0 29 22 0 0 1 33 1 1 3 5
Alontae Taylor 12 0 28 12 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1
Kicking
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Brent Cimaglia 11 0 10 13 45 31 31
Kick Returning
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Ty Chandler 11 0 7 0 27 113
Bryce Thompson 11 0 4 0 35 100
Nigel Warrior 12 0 3 0 41 71
Shawn Shamburger 8 0 2 0 23 42
JJ Peterson 2 0 1 0 7 7
Fumbles
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Jarrett Guarantano 12 0 4 2 0 0 0 0
Jeremy Banks 7 0 3 2 0 0 0 0
Madre London 10 0 2 1 0 0 0 0
Austin Pope 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Carlin Fils-Aime 5 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Punting
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Carlin Fils-Aime 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Dominick Wood-Anderson 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Eli Wolf 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Jarrett Guarantano 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
Jauan Jennings 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Punt Returning
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Marquez Callaway 11 0 14 0 82 166
Marquill Osborne 5 0 1 0 8 26

florida-gators-football Stats 2018-2019

Passing
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Emory Jones 3 0 181.875 0 16 12 0 0 0 2 125
Feleipe Franks 12 0 144.066 0 299 175 6 0 0 23 2284
Kyle Trask 3 0 140.491 0 22 14 0 0 0 1 162
Kadarius Toney 11 0 .000 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 20
Lucas Krull 7 0 .000 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 15
Russing
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Lamical Perine 12 0 750 0 128 6
Jordan Scarlett 12 0 717 0 122 4
Dameon Pierce 10 0 425 0 65 2
Feleipe Franks 12 0 276 0 96 6
Kadarius Toney 11 0 204 0 19 0
Receiving
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Van Jefferson 10 0 439 0 31 0 6
Trevon Grimes 11 0 366 0 25 0 2
Josh Hammond 11 0 308 0 26 0 4
Freddie Swain 10 0 265 0 14 0 5
Kadarius Toney 11 0 260 0 24 0 1
Defense
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Vosean Joseph 12 0 37 50 0 1 0 0 4 4 23 9
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson 12 0 33 33 0 0 2 27 2 3 10 9
Jachai Polite 12 0 26 17 5 0 0 0 4 11 55 18
Donovan Stiner 12 0 21 26 0 0 2 0 1 1 10 1
Brad Stewart Jr. 8 0 19 19 1 0 2 25 2 0 0 0
Kicking
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Evan McPherson 12 0 15 17 48 45 45
Jorge Powell 3 0 1 1 39 5 5
Kick Returning
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Kadarius Toney 11 0 5 0 51 119
Adarius Lemons 1 0 2 0 28 47
Freddie Swain 10 0 1 0 6 6
Jacob Copeland 1 0 1 0 26 26
Moral Stephens 7 0 1 0 0 0
Fumbles
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Feleipe Franks 12 0 7 3 0 0 0 0
Emory Jones 3 0 3 1 0 0 0 0
Dameon Pierce 10 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Iverson Clement 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jordan Scarlett 12 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
Punting
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Dameon Pierce 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Emory Jones 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Feleipe Franks 12 0 0 38 0 38 1 0 29
Freddie Swain 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Jacob Finn 2 0 0 91 0 53 2 0 0
Punt Returning
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Freddie Swain 10 0 21 0 85 221
Van Jefferson 10 0 3 0 9 17
Amari Burney 8 0 1 0 0 28
James Houston IV 9 0 1 0 0 28
Kadarius Toney 11 0 1 0 0 -4