Florida and Tennessee kick off their SEC seasons with the annual showdown. Since 1996 the two have begun league play against each other, except in 2001, when the game was postponed due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Gators (2-0) have won five in a row over the Vols (1-1), who will be led by junior QB Matt Simms, younger brother of former Buc Chris Simms, and new coach Derek Dooley. The Gators will be without WR Chris Rainey (suspension), but returning are S Will Hill, right, (out for unknown reasons) and OL Xavier Nixon (right knee surgery). UF has eight interceptions but hasn't been happy with its pass rush, so look for more emphasis on it.
Antonya English, Times staff writer
What to watch for …
Who runs best and makes the fewest mistakes. In their past seven meetings, the team that has won the rushing battle has won the game. Tennessee's Tauren Poole leads the SEC in rushing, but the Gators counter with speedy Jeff Demps. Also, Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody have started to come on for the Gators, lending depth at running back. With both teams led by junior first-year starters at quarterback, establishing the run could go a long way toward helping to take pressure off them. And watch out for how the Gators handle the noise at Neyland Stadium. They worked on silent cadences all week, but for a team that has struggled with the center-to-quarterback snap at home, noise could be a major issue in a stadium that won't shut up while UF is on offense.
No. 10 Florida at Tennessee, 3:30, Ch. 10, 970-AM
Florida State vs. BYU, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU