Week 3 has begun, and this Saturday, the third of September, is the exact date. The No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators in a huge conference rivalry. In the overall series, Florida has a 31-21 advantage.
Former Big 10 quarterbacks Joe Milton and Graham Mertz will be at the helm of their respective SEC squads for this rivalry matchup. Florida finally has a win on the board after beating McNeese State, while the Vols are 2-0 after a 30-13 victory over Austin Peay last week. The Gators, led by Billy Napier, have split their first two games. In the last 10 matchups between these two teams, Florida is 8-2 ATS, but Tennessee is favored this week.
Graham Mertz saw a lot of playing time at Wisconsin, but his performances were inconsistent. Mertz wasn’t fantastic in Florida’s season opener against Utah, throwing for 333 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Now he faces a Southeastern Conference defense, albeit a weak one.
In his first two games, Joe Milton has completed 67% of his throws for 429 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. While Milton doesn’t worry about having a weak upper body, he does worry about making the right choices.
Under Josh Heupel and with Hendon Hooker at quarterback, the Vols threw the ball all over the place last year and finished tenth in passing yards per game. But they’ve been a run-based offense ever since Milton got his rocket arm. Although they rank just 42nd in yards per play, Tennessee ranks fourth in the NFL in running offense with 287 yards per game.
The Vols are averaging 6.1 yards per rush thanks to the efforts of Jaylen Wright, Jabari Small, and Dylan Sampson. Joe Milton, by contrast, is averaging just 6.8 yards through the air for every pass he attempts. Despite limiting Utah to just 105 running yards in Week 1, Florida ranked just 95th in the NFL in rushing defense in 2022.
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Tennessee Volunteers vs Florida Gators Game Information
- Date: 09/16/2023
- Time: 07:00 PM ET
- Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadiu, Gainesville, FL.
- How to Watch Tennessee vs Florida: Peacock
- Live Stream: fubo.tv