Florida vs. Tennessee: Prediction, pick, line, odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel, game preview

By Adam Silverstein
September 16, 2017
Florida vs. Tennessee: Prediction, pick, line, odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel, game preview

Revenge is on the minds of the No. 24 Florida Gators, which are not only looking to pick up some much-needed momentum after a Week 1 embarrassment but saw the No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers come from way behind to pull off a victory and end Florida’s 11-game series winning streak just last season.

Here’s what you need to know and how you can watch Florida-Tennessee.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 16 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce)
Live stream: CBSSports.com | CBS Sports apps
SiriusXM: 138, 191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 24 Florida Gators No. 23 Tennessee Volunteers
Head Coach Jim McElwain Butch Jones
Record 0-1 2-0
Conference Southeastern Southeastern

Four things to know

1. Breaking the wrong type of records: Florida in Week 1 dropped its first season opener since 1989. Statistics like that have been common since the departure of Urban Meyer with the Gators reaching different levels of ineptitude and seeing a variety of long-time streaks come to an end in recent years (such as against Tennessee in 2016). On Saturday, UF will look to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 1971. Yes, Florida is a victim of circumstance here with Hurricane Irma cancelling its breather game against Northern Colorado, but would a 1-2 start actually make anyone feel better? The answer to that, of course, is “no.”

2. Revenge is a dish best served bold: Back to that streak that ended in 2016, the Gators were knocked off by the Volunteers for the first time in 12 seasons. Florida had won 11 straight against Tennessee from 2005-15, and despite surviving in 2014 and 2015 by a single point in each game, the Gators were embarrassed a year ago. The Vols scored 38 straight points at home, erasing a 21-0 first-half lead for the visitors to claim victory in the rivalry game. Though Florida was ultimately able to recover from the loss and win the SEC East, it stung in a major way.

3. Finding a Callaway: Junior wide receiver Antonio Callaway may not be suited up for the Gators, but you can bet sophomore Marquez Callaway will be on the field for the Vols. The younger Callaway has three touchdowns and nearly 200 yards in his first two games this season. Considering he’s going up against a talented yet inexperienced secondary, it may be a different Callaway making a ton of noise once again in the Florida-Tennessee game.

4. It’s up to you, kid: McElwain no doubt made the right decision in sticking with redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks as his starter even if he did make a mistake not reinserting Franks into the Michigan game. Franks has the highest ceiling of Florida’s quarterbacks and needs to work through his mistakes and gain actual experience on the field, not on the sideline. He certainly looked capable in Week 1, and it was his offensive line that let him down on more than one occasion in the contest. Franks may not be a world-beater this week, but he needs to play nearly the entire game unless he absolutely implodes, in which case redshirt junior Luke Del Rio may come out of the bullpen.

Pick and analysis

Spread: Florida -4 | O/U: 48.5

This line is an overreaction to the Gators’ abhorrent performance in Week 1 coupled with heavy public sentiment against Florida, which is being faded at a two-to-one margin. If homefield advantage is worth three points, UF is barely being favored in its home opener against a team it has defeated in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

Florida was embarrassed in Week 1 against Michigan and has been sitting around for two weeks stewing about it. McElwain knows his back is against the wall — even if his job is not on the line — as UF would begin a season 0-2 for the first time since 1971 if it loses at home to its SEC East rival. The Gators have already been tested against a tremendous defense in the Wolverines, so at least UF’s offense got a taste of how it needs to improve entering this game. The Volunteers had to claw their way to victory against a Georgia Tech triple option they worked on defending for weeks this offseason.

Yes, Florida opening at -8.5 was absurd, but the line shifting this much and the Gators being favored by just four presents a prime opportunity. Whether they win this game or not, there’s at least 1.5 points of value with this line. I had a difficult time picking Florida-Michigan, but this one is a no-brainer in terms of the proper side. The total, however, is a toss-up. I would err on a lower-scoring affair, however.

2017 records: ATS picks 0-1 | O/U picks 1-0

Injuries and absences

Suspended (9): WR Antonio Callaway, RB Jordan Scarlett, DL Keivonnis Davis, DL Richerd Desir-Jones, DL Jordan Smith, WR Rick Wells, LB James Houston IV, LB Ventrell Miller, OL Kadeem Telfort

Probable (2): TE DeAndre Goolsby (undisclosed), TE Kemore Gamble (foot)
Questionable (1): LB Kylan Johnson (hamstring)
Out (2): WR James Robinson (heart), DB Marcell Harris (Achilles – season)

Game notes

» Florida is 26-20 all-time against Tennessee with wins in 11 of their last 12 meetings, including a streak of 11 straight victories from 2005-15. The Gators are 24-7 against the Volunteers since 1976 and 13-5 when the series is played in Gainesville.
» Twenty of the last 22 meetings between UF and UT have been aired by CBS. It will be the 11th time the game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. in that span.
» Florida and Tennessee have opened the SEC schedule against one another in 18 of their last 22 meetings.
» The Gators and Vols are facing one another as ranked opponents for just the third time since 2007 and second time since 2012.
» UF is 42-6 in the month of September since 2005.
» Florida has won 27 straight home openers. McElwain is 11-1 at home after a 5-0 campaign in The Swamp last season.
» The Gators’ home opener is against an SEC opponent for the first time since 1992.

» Florida is 213-11 since 1990 when an opponent scores 21 points or fewer in a contest, including 18-0 under McElwain.
» Also under McElwain, the Gators are 16-1 against unranked opponents and 3-7 against ranked opponents. UF is 14-0 when outrushing an opponent, 16-4 when scoring first, 15-2 when leading at half and 10-1 when winning the turnover battle.
» Florida owns the nation’s longest streak of returning either a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, doing so in 12 consecutive seasons.
» The Gators have the second-most wins in the nation since 1990 (258).
» Florida has scored in 362 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and second-longest all-time (Michigan). UF can break that record if it does not get shutout through the LSU game.
» McElwain is the first coach in SEC history to play for the conference title in his first two seasons at the helm of his program.


Florida will wear blue jerseys on Saturday, though helmet and pant color has not yet been announced.


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