Josh Heupel and the Vols have their first road test as they will face #11 Florida in The Swamp.
Kickoff is at 7 pm in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, and game will be televised on ESPN.
Tennessee is 2-1 and coming off a 56-0 win over Tennessee Tech.
Tennessee racked up over 400 yards of offense in their win, and 202 of those yards came from the run game.
Florida is coming off a tough 31-29 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Florida scored an essential touchdown with 3 minutes left in the game.
However, a failed 2 point conversion left the Gators 2 points shy of extending the game into overtime.
Tennessee is a 20 point underdog going into this game.
This is the largest Florida has been favored since 2009.
Still, questions need to be answered for Tennessee; this will be one of the toughest teams the Vols face all season.
For the Vols to pull off a monumental upset and grab their first win in The Swamp since 2003, here is what they must do to beat Florida:
Connect The Deep Ball
The most crucial thing Tennessee has to do if they want to have any shot is that they have to complete the deep throws.
What killed Tennessee in the Pittsburgh game was Joe Milton’s inaccurate deep throws.
Milton missed about four opportunities that could have been touchdowns had he more accuracy in his throw.
Hendon Hooker was not much better on the deep throws, either.
Hooker missed a couple of deep passes in the Tennessee Tech and Pittsburgh game as well.
Tennessee has not had an issue with getting receivers open.
The wideouts have been doing their job on getting open.
The fact is that Tennessee can not depend on the run game against this vicious Florida front seven.
Tennessee will have to rely on the deep ball to stay in this game.
But the QB, whether it is Milton or Hooker on Saturday, the passing accuracy has to improve.
If they can do that, Tennessee will have a shot against Florida.
Protect The Quarterback
Another thing Tennessee must do to beat Florida is that they have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback.
To say that this offensive line has been bad would be an understatement.
In just the first three games, Tennessee’s offensive line has already allowed nine sacks.
That puts the Vols at 109th in sacks allowed.
Tennessee’s O-Line has allowed 14 TFLs thru 3 games as well.
While the Vols offense did face a Pitt D-Line that is considered one of the best in the country, they did allow three sacks to a bad Bowling Green team.
Florida’s front seven will be brutal towards this offensive line if Tennessee can not figure it out.
Guys like Zachary Carter, Gervon Dexter, and Jeremiah Moon will give all Tennessee can handle come Saturday.
If they can somehow hold on and give Milton or Hooker enough time for the offense to be able to open up, the Vols will have a shot.
But if Tennessee’s O-Line struggles out of the gate, this game will be over before it even begins.
Force Florida To Throw
Tennessee’s defense somehow someway must force Florida to throw the football.
Florida’s run game is the real deal.
Florida managed to run 245 yards against Alabama’s defense.
Florida has the best rushing offense in the country at the moment, averaging 381 rushing yards a game.
This is why Tennessee’s front seven is going to have to have one of their best performances in a long time on Saturday.
If they can even allow just half of that and force Florida to throw the football, this will give them a chance.
Florida still has questions at QB with Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson still competing for the starting job.
Jones already has thrown 5 INTs in just three games.
If Tennessee can make Florida throw the football and force them to change up their game plan, Tennessee will have a shot.