Editors Note: Make sure to check in each Friday for game week-by-week game predictions leading up to the start of the season-zach
Butch Jones takes his Volunteer football team into The Swamp for his first SEC game. Coming off what is likely to be a loss against Oregon, the Vols will look to bounce back against the rival Florida Gators. The Gators came into Knoxville in 2012 and dominated the second half on their way to the victory. That was the last time the Vols were nationally ranked.
Florida is coming off a some what surprising season, in which they went the Sugar Bowl. While the season ended with a disappointing loss to Louisville, the Gators finished the season with an overall record of 11-2 and 7-1 in the SEC. Quarterback Jeff Driskel returns to lead the offense. He is also the leading returning rusher on the team. The Gators will be coming off a bye week after facing Miami in week two.
The Vols will need to be ready to take on Florida in the Swamp in their first conference game of the season. The Gators have dominated this series over the last 20+ years, going 17-6 against the Vols since 1990 and including eight wins in a row. In order for Tennessee to win this game, they will need to be near perfect. They cannot turn the ball over against an aggressive and talented Gator defense and they must limit the Florida rushing attack.
The environment will likely prove to be too much for the Vols, as they will drop to 2-2 on the young season. Tennessee will look to get back on the winning track the next week in Neyland Stadium against South Alabama.