As week three of the 2017 college football season rolls along, you’ll start to see less FCS vs. FBS matchups and more big game conference games. One of the biggest games this weekend is the Tennessee Volunteers versus the Florida Gators. The Tennessee Volunteers are coming off an easy 42-7 win over Indiana State. While the Florida Gators were at home, bunkered down as Hurricane Irma ripped through the state of Florida causing the Florida-Northern Colorado game to be cancelled. The last time Florida played was against the Michigan Wolverines as the Gators lost 33-17. Both teams will be ready for this matchup, as this is one of the best rivalries in all of college football.
The last time these two teams saw each other, the Volunteers snapped their eleven game losing streak to the Gators. While it was one of the biggest wins in the program’s history, this Volunteer team isn’t the same from last year. Josh Dobbs, Derek Barnett, Alvin Kamara and Cameron Sutton are all in the NFL. The Volunteers new starting quarterback is Quinten Dormady. The 6’4” QB from Texas, has only two starts under his belt. In his two starts this season, Dormady has thrown for 441 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. The biggest playmaker for the Volunteers is Marquez Callaway. The Georgia native only has five receptions on the year, but he also has 152 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
One of the biggest issues for the Volunteers is their weak defensive line. The Tennessee defense lost a lot of good talent from last season and doesn’t seem that they have figured it out with their new starters. The Tennessee defensive line has given up well over 600 rushing yards in the first two games on the year. The Florida offensive line was the biggest weakness versus the Michigan Wolverines but they hope to show signs of life versus the Tennessee defensive line. Look for Lamical Perine to take advantage on the ground game.
There’s no other team in the country that isn’t looking forward to being on the field more than the Florida Gators. After getting manhandled by Michigan and cancelling a game due to Hurricane Irma, the Florida Gators are looking forward to playing football again. The Gators are also excited to be back in The Swamp in front of their fans. There is a lot of negativity around the program since the Michigan loss and the player are ready to prove that Michigan was a fluke. The offense wants to show that they can actually put points on the scoreboard. Feleipe Franks is still the starter and would love to solidify his starting job with a win against the Volunteers. Florida’s offense coordinator needs to be more creative with his play calling, and get the ball in his playmaker’s hands. The offensive line also really needs to step up in a big way.
The Florida defense played really well against the Michigan Wolverines for most of the game. The defense scored two pick sixes by Duke Dawson and C.J. Henderson but really didn’t do much afterwards. The defensive line needs to put a lot of pressure on Dormady. Luckily for the Gators, Dormady is nowhere near as athletic as Josh Dobbs was. Dormady is almost a sitting duck back their so if Florida could get it the backfield and knock him down a few times, they force to make bad decisions and rattle him. The linebackers must stop the rushing attack to force Dormady to beat them with his arm. Duke Dawson will have the most important job on defense. He is going to have to cover Marquez Callaway who could make nothing into something. Randy Shannon should have a safety always shaded towards Callaway for help up top.
5 Players to Watch: Tennessee Volunteers
- WR Marquez Callaway
- RB John Kelly
- QB Quinten Dormady
- LB Cortez McDowell
- DL Jonathan Kongbo
5 Players to Watch: Florida Gators
- RB Lamical Perine
- DE Cece Jefferson
- WR Tyrie Cleveland
- DE Jabari Zuniga
- QB Feleipe Franks
- Feleipe Franks throws his first collegiate touchdown pass.
- Marquez Callaway scores a touchdown.
- Lamical Perine gets the bulk of the carries.
- John Kelly rushes around 70 yards.
- Florida beats Tennessee 33-20.