The No. 19 Gators take their show on the road Saturday for the first time this season, traveling to Tennessee to faced the No. 14 Volunteers at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. Florida has won 11 straight games in this rivalry, but the last two were close calls. Here are five predictions on the eve of the game.
1. How will Austin Appleby perform at QB?
He won’t lose the game for the Gators, and because of that they’ll be able to win. Appleby is turnover prone and has the arm strength to take chances with his throws, but sometimes that can backfire. The Florida staff will have a smart, simple game plan to keep him from making mistakes.
2. Can Florida’s defense contain Joshua Dobbs?
Yes. Dobbs ran wild against UF last year and that set up a couple trick plays in the passing game for the Vols. But he didn’t hurt them with his arm (83 yards) and hasn’t been great throwing the ball this season. The Gators will take away his running ability Saturday and force him to pass against their secondary (good luck).
3. Which team will gain more rushing yards?
Florida. Its offensive line has played much better than Tennessee’s unit through three games. The Vols will have a tough time opening holes against Florida’s front seven. The Gators won’t go for 200-plus yards on the ground again, but they’ll win the rushing battle with their four-headed monster.
4. How will Eddy Pineiro handle Rocky Top?
Like a champ. Pineiro has unwavering confidence in his ability and will be unfazed by a 100,000 sets of eyes on him. You’ll hear some faint chants of “Eddy! Eddy! Eddy!” when he lines up to kick, but mostly noise from Vols fans. He’s going to silence the crowd with two field goals in this game.
5. Who wins?