Saturday, January 31, 2009

Florida-Tennessee Prediction: Volunteers Try To Rebound on ESPN Gameday

Florida Gators at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday 9PM

ESPN Gameday comes to Knoxville for an SEC East showdown between the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers. The Gators will be going for their sixth conference win and hopefully a top 25 ranking. Tennessee has struggled this season playing an incredibly difficult schedule of eight teams in the RPI top 50.


Florida 18-3, 5-1, 2-2 (away), RPI 26
Tennessee 12-7, 3-2, 6-4 (home), RPI 28

Keys to the Game:

1. Tennessee On Ball Defense Has to Do Better

The Volunteers have not played great defense this season allowing opponents to shoot 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Florida is tearing up the net shooting 50 percent from the field and 37 percent on three pointers. In UT's best win of the year over Marquette they held the Eagles to just 37 percent from the floor.

2. Florida Turnovers

The Gators are normally very careful with the ball giving it up just 13 times per game, but in their only SEC loss to South Carolina, Florida turned the ball over 18 times. Past Bruce Pearl Tennessee teams have been very good at creating turnovers, but his years teams is struggling a little in that regard. The Vols need to channel some past magic.

Stats To Watch:

Florida FG Percentage
Florida Turnovers


Tennessee is the favorite in this game. The Volunteer crowd will be hyped up for ESPN Gameday and because the hated Florida Gators are in town. Still, I think the Vols are short on gas after playing so many tough games as of late. I think Florida comes on in the second half to win.

Florida wins by 1-7 points

Other SEC Games This Weekend:

Miss State over Ole Miss
The Rebels are coming off a big win against Kentucky, but Miss State is quietly 4-1 in the SEC. Ole Miss has to go on the road for this one where they are just 1-4 on the season.

Auburn over Vanderbilt
Vandy has been one of the most disappointing teams thus far in the SEC. The Commodores have just 1 win away from Memorial Gym this season.

LSU over Arkansas
The Tigers are getting it done in the SEC under new coach Trent Johnson. LSU’s only home loss of the year is against top 25 Xavier.

Alabama over Georgia
The game of interim coaches in the SEC! Alabama has more talent than Georgia and is playing at home. Take the Tide.

Season: 9-9 SU through 1/30

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