Tennessee Volunteers (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS)
vs Florida Gators (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
When: Saturday, Sep 16th, 3:30 PM ET
Line: Florida -5.5
TV/Live Stream: CBS, CBSSports.com (Free)
Top-25 teams Tennessee and Florida will open up their SEC season on Saturday afternoon. The Volunteers backed up their double-overtime win against Georgia Tech by taking down Indiana State. The Gators had an awful showing against Michigan, letting the game get away at the end.
Tennessee has no problems in short week
The Volunteers had no problems whooping up on FCS Indiana State. They converted 7-of-13 third downs, had 24 total first downs, and 395 total yards. They had complete balance on both sides of the ball and limited their opponent to just 93 passing yards and nine completed catches. Quarterback Quinten Dormady completed 13-of-18 passes for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns with a pick. Leading receivers include John Kelly with five catches for 60 yards. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of that is Kelly was leading running back in the contest. Brandon Edward Johnson had 50 yards on four catches with a touchdown.
Kelly led the team with 80 yards on 18 carries running the ball. Carlin Fils-aime had three carries for 41 yards and netted two touchdowns himself. Tennessee ended up having a 28-0 lead at halftime and never looked back. Defensive back Evan Berry missed this last contest with a knee injury and he’s day-to-day. He had two returns for 86 yards in the kicking game so far this season.
Florida not only has to worry about offense, but hurricanes
Florida looked incredibly weak against Michigan in the first week of the season, and unfortunately, due to Hurricane Irma, they weren’t able to rebound against a much easier opponent in Northern Colorado. There’s also a chance that this game could be in jeopardy of moving locations. Since it is an SEC contest, it has to be played at some point. Instead of being postponed and played at a later date, it could be moved to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. That’s where Tennessee’s victory over Georgia Tech took place two weeks ago.
Looking back at the Gators’ defeat, they converted just 2-of-13 third downs and recorded nine first downs. They had 192 total yards of offense — 11 of that just coming on the ground. Mark Thompson had the best effort with five carries for 13 yards. They also suffered three turnovers, and if Michigan didn’t record two of them, it could have been an even worse result. Even though Florida is known for their defense, they gave up 433 yards of offense and Michigan had near equal amounts of yardage in both passing and running.
- 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after an ATS loss
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against teams with a losing home record
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in September
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games after a straight-up loss
The Gators have a lot to deal with thanks to hurricane problems. Even though they had an extra week off, there’s a chance this could move as a neutral site game. Whatever the case, Tennessee might be the better team regardless, and it’s best to roll with them in this contest.