Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers
College Football Pick: Tennessee -6.5 points (September 24th 2016)
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The Vols have had this game circled since about this same time last year. The reason being is that the Gators beat Tennessee last year for the 11th consecutive time. Last year, the Vols were up 27-14 in the 4th quarter and the Gators scored the winning touchdown on 4th and 14 with a 63 yd TD pass. If losing like that doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, add to the fact that the Vols last victory over the Gators was in 2004, and that should fuel all focus, motivation, and desire to win to this game Saturday night, in Knoxville, in front of over 100,000 fans. It will be crazy loud and a rowdy environment for anyone to make their first SEC start, which is what Gators QB Appleby will be called to do.
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For Florida, their starting QB this season Luke Del Rio got injured last game. Now it’s going to be graduate transfer Austin Appleby who comes from Purdue. Yes, the same Purdue team that went 5-19 the L2 years when he was quarterback. Appleby has a very pedestrian 18 TD/ 19 INT mark the last two seasons at Purdue. I fully expect the Vols to bring plenty of pressure and DC Bob Shoop should have plenty of footage on Appleby. Shoop’s brother John Shoop was the offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach at Purdue from 2013-2015 when Appleby was the quarterback there so I’m sure Bob will refer to brother John for an in-depth scouting report on Appleby giving the Vols more of an advantage.
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It will be the seniors of Tennessee last chance to beat Florida. After losing by 1 point to the Gators in consecutive seasons, this Vols team who is is the most experienced team in the SEC will be looking to open up a can of whoop ass on the Gators. I feel that when they get the lead in this game (which they should score first), they will just continue to mash the gas. I know Florida is no pushover, but I have serious concerns with their offense currently and at the end of the day, it will be too much Tennessee Vols offense.
The Gators have played 3 home games against UMass, North Texas, and Kentucky. They have only given up a total of 14 points, but UMass and North Texas are two of the worst offenses in the nation and this will be the first real test for a defense that lost three players from their front 7 to the NFL draft. The strength of the Gators is their defense, but this will be the best offense they have seen all season long and the loudest environment on the road. The Gators are going to keep some nice defensive recruits, the loss of three players on their front seven has yet to be determined if they can withstand a powerful run game that the Vols have behind an offensive line that is the most experienced under HC Butch Jones.
Florida’s best player on offense, Antonio Callaway, was held out against North Texas last week with a quad injury. Callaway is listed as questionable for this game. Honestly, I think Callaway plays this game, but a quad injury is tough to heal sometimes and it’s possible he might not play. There is also a possibility that he re-injures his quad during the game if he does play. Callaway is the Gators best receiver and kick/punt returner. My handicap on this game is assuming that Callaway plays, but if he doesn’t that’s a HUGE bonus for us.
The Vols offense has underperformed this year. That’s another reason why this line is lower than what I feel it should be. Is this the game they break out against Florida? While one wouldn’t expect it to be, I think it is. The offensive line is not as bad as they have looked. They benched rFr Drew Richmond after giving up 2 sacks against Virginia Tech and I think the line is more stable now without Richmond starting.
At the end of the night, we have a HUGE home field edge under the lights. We have a HUGE edge at quarterback and running back. We have a HUGE motivational edge and a favorable point spread given all the circumstances and situations for this game. The Vols do have two key defensive injuries that are going to keep me from releasing this as a top rated play. (1* Tennessee Vols)
Brandon is getting geared up for a HUGE weekend in Football and it’s one you won’t want to miss. It starts Thursday with his NCAAF Game of the Month followed by a HUGE 10* WINNER Saturday with his NCAAF Game of the Week. After that, he looks to continue with his domination in the NFL with a HUGE 10* NFL Game of the Month WINNER that will destroy your book. Come hop on this Money Train and SMASH the Books with Brandon!