Saturday, September 19, 2009

Week 3 prediction--Tennessee

I don't want to dwell on the obvious emotional layer of this game, so I will set it aside for now and talk match-ups.

Florida Offense, Tennessee Defense
This I believe will be the most intriguing and evenly contested match-up of the afternoon. Tennessee's strength is their defense, both from a talent and a coaching standpoint. Their talent allows them to play a lot of different schemes and throw a bunch of different blitz packages at you. Tennessee will stymie Florida early on by playing Eric Berry as a spy on Tim Tebow. But as the game progresses, Florida's offense will wear them down, while making the necessary adjustments to move the football. Plus Tennessee's offense is prone to mistakes, so the defense will have to defend the short field several times throughout the game.

Florida Defense, Tennessee Offense

This is a mismatch and why I think Florida will win handily. Johnathon Crompton has been so bad at QB, I think Tennessee will try to run first and dink and dunk second. With Lawrence Marsh back at nose, Florida will shut the run down and Crompton will be asked to do something he is not very good at--throw the ball downfield. I think Florida's defense will score at least once and will get at least three turnovers while holding the Vols out of the end zone.

Special Teams

Advantage Gators. The talk has been Nu'Keese Richardson, the super frosh who jilted the Gators. He returns punts, and I look for him to fumble at least one time during the game giving the Gators a chance for an easy score. I also see Brandon James affecting field position. If they kick it to him, he will burn them. If they kick it out of bounds, they will give up valuable field position.

We have all heard over and over again Lane Kiffin's off-season comments. I have no problem with coaches running their mouths because it will all be settled on the field. The real intangible will be the Swamp. Tennessee has a lot of freshmen who see significant playing time (both punt returners are freshmen), and they will not be prepared for the noise or the intensity of the match-up. Can you imagine trying to field a punt with 11 thoroughbreds drawing a bead on your chest while 90,000-plus fans are screaming DROP IT?

My Prediction: Florida 38-9

No comments: