Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rushing Game Will Decide Florida and Tennessee



Florida @ Tennessee
Line: UF –7.5, 51.5

Everyone looked at the schedule at the beginning of this season and thought this would be the first test of the season for UF and UT, but the Gators were pushed for three quarters against Miami and Tennessee lost to UCLA in week 1. Florida is coming off a bye week while the Vols dispatched UAB with ease last week.

Keys to the Game:

1. Pushing Florida to the Middle

What do I mean by this? I am talking about Florida’s speed advantage on the edge with guys like Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, and Percy Harvin. If the Gators can get to the edge, they will win this game going away. Tennessee needs to force Florida to run between the tackles where they haven’t shown they can with anyone except for QB Tim Tebow. Sorry Emmanuel Moody. You have not shown me you can do it yet. Tim Tebow running between the tackles mean a sore Tim Tebow.

2. Run Defense

If you want to run the ball on these two teams, then you may have a long day. Both Florida and Tennessee are allowing less than 70 ypg on the ground. The team that has won the rushing battle has a very good record in this series. The Vols have the advantage at running back, but can’t fall in love with the pass like they did at UCLA.

3. Crompton’s Health

Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton missed practice early in the week and has been using a walking boot most of this season due to a sore ankle. If Crompton is injured in this game, the Vols have very little experience behind him. The Tennessee offensive line, which really protected Erik Ainge well last year, needs to come up big in pass protection for the Vols to pull off the upset.

Prediction

This is the biggest spread for a road team in this series in a long time. The Vols backs are to the wall from bettors after seeing how BYU dismantled a UCLA team that UT lost to in week 1. Tennessee has the talent to beat Florida, but they have a lot more unknowns than the Gators do. In a big game, I go with the sure thing even if it is on the road.

Florida 30 Tennessee 17
Florida Covers

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