The Tennessee Vols (2-1) will look to head into Gainesville and upset the Florida Gators (2-1) on Saturday. Here are the three keys to a Tennessee win.
By Steve Wright
1 – Force turnovers
The Vols just haven’t been good at forcing turnovers yet in 2021. They finally picked up their first interceptions of the year last weekend, but there is still a zero in the fumbles forced category next to their name. There should be chances here, however, with only five teams in the FBS having thrown more interceptions than Florida so far this season. Picking the ball off – and getting plus field position from it – would be huge, and with four interceptions claimed last weekend this Vols team may have finally figured out how to do just that.
2 – Get the running backs going
The Vols rushing statistics are a little misleading. Most of the running that they do comes from either of the two quarterbacks in Joe Milton III and Hendon Hooker. While having a dual-threat in the quarterback position is obviously an asset, it is not good if the running backs aren’t doing their jobs. The Vols backs have averaged just around three yards per carry over the last two games and no run into a Florida brick wall that allows just 92.7 yards per game on the ground. A running attack needs to be developed to keep the Florida defense on its toes here.
3 – Stop the run
The Gators are going to try to beat the Vols by running the ball and not making mistakes. The No. 2 ranked run game in the country averages a monster 335 yards per game. Quarterbacks Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson – along with running back Malik Davis – all have over 200 yards on the ground and two touchdowns each this season, while running back Dameon Pierce has five rushing scores. The Vols allow just 54.3 yards per game on the ground – good for No. 5 in the country – but they haven’t faced anything like this Florida attack. The Vols have to stop the ground game from piling up yards to win.