Florida-Tennessee gameday notes
No. 16 Florida (2-0, 0-0 SEC) vs. Tennessee (2-0, 0-0 SEC) 3:30 p.m., CBS
This is the 10th straight year the Gators and Vols have opened conference play against each other. Florida has won six straight, and holds a 10-5 lead in the series when the game is played in Gainesville. Among the storylines is the meeting of close friends Will Muschamp and Derek Dooley - former assistants at LSU, who will coach against each other for the first time as head coaches. Neither is overly enthused about that.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Both sides agree this is the first real test of the season, so neither knows what to expect with equal-caliber competition. Florida had to settle for field goals three times in the red zone last week, which it recognizes could be a deal-breaker today. The key matchup is the Gators’ inexperienced secondary against QB Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Da’rick Rogers. Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said the offense hasn’t been more expansive so far because frankly it wasn’t necessary with the first two opponents. So expect the Gators to pull out more from the offensive playbook. So far Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps have been the biggest offensive producers, while QB John Brantley has been relegated to short passes and slants - which Weis said was predicated by “taking what the defense give us.’’ Florida must get pressure on Bray and the Vols have to find a way to slow Demps and Rainey.
Listen to UF offensive coordinator Charlie Weis break down the UT defense and what he thinks the Gators will face: