Tennessee’s Keys to Beating Florida

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The make or break week is coming up for the Tennessee Volunteers. They have gotten their three “easy” games out of the way, and now they have a 4-game gauntlet that goes Florida (At home), Georgia (On the road), Texas A&M (On the road), then Alabama (At Home).

We all know how long it’s been since the Vols have beaten the Gators, and every year Tennessee fans scream it is their year. Obviously, for the last 11 years, it hasn’t been their year, but could it really be their year this year? If so, what are they keys to beating Florida?

  • Keep Jack Jones in the game- The Vols were down 14-0 against Virginia Tech a little more than a week ago, then Jack Jones was put on that offensive line and the whole game seemed to turn around. The offense not only clicks, but with Jones being a solid player, he can actually create pocket protection for Dobbs.
  • Keep Consistent Pressure on the QB– Florida has lost their starting QB in Luke Del Rio, so they’ll be starting an inexperienced freshman under the center. Tennessee needs their deadly defensive line to step up, or the Gators will throw and run all over the field.
  • Let Dobbs and Hurd Run the Ball– In the App State and Ohio games, Tennessee’s offensive coordinator was reluctant to let Dobbs run the ball, which led to sloppy games. However, in the Virginia Tech game, Dobbs was constantly running the ball and it led to a huge win. Dobbs running the ball is the Vols offense as it’s his strong suit, so let him run the ball and the offense won’t struggle to get going. That leads to getting Hurd going. If Dobbs starts running the ball, they can bring in Hurd and run the Read Option and start to spread Florida’s defense because there would be no definite person it’d be going to. 
  • Cut Down on Turnovers– Against Ohio, the Vols fumbled the ball four times and Dobbs had one INT. Although they recovered all four fumbles, that will not fly against Florida, who are a much stronger opponent than Ohio. As far as the INT, it wasn’t Dobbs’ fault rather it was the WR who dropped the pass, then tipped it up allowing the INT. The WR’s are going to have to make these simple catches, though, if they want to beat Florida.

Those are the things that must be done if Tennessee wants to end their losing streak against Florida. If they don’t do these things, then they can kiss beating them away until next year.

 

Image Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

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