The office wall in his Jacksonville home is adorned with memorabilia from both Tennessee and Florida, with the only discernible difference being the seven SEC championship rings in a glass cabinet that UT won while he served as the Volunteers’ coach or athletic director.
Neither Tennessee nor Florida has played in an SEC Championship Game each of the last five seasons. His response was one word: Everything. I’d agree with that. Also, I’m not saying Butch is safe for good, but I think he has too much talent right now not to succeed. One might say that posting self-pitying rants and asking Florida fans to enjoy them seems like a logical low point, but then there was the profane chant while losing at home in a game in which Tennessee begged Lil Jon for assistance, played “Turn Down For What” on every defensive third down, and still ended up converting fewer third downs (and, you know, accounting for fewer points) than a team whose anemic offense was overseen by Will Muschamp, and quarterbacked by Jeff Driskel, until the point at which the latter finally became untenable.
“We’ve been pretty effective running the ball, and our passing game has continued to improve”, DeBord said.
Hurd and Kamara will face a Gators bunch that leads the SEC in rushing defense. Sometimes getting the dirty yards. That’s where Florida can take advantage.
Dustin: A lot of things. And if the Tennessee can block the front four with some consistency, Florida will start bringing the pressure, and that’s where UT must rise to the occasion. “The thing you can’t have is negative yardage football plays when you run the football”. The defense also made some mistakes (penalties) at the worst possible times. It’s these small milestones Butch Jones and his football program need to put together.
Dustin: Internally within the team, I think it’s a situation where the players and the coaches are playing mind games with themselves. In rivalries such as this, you usually throw out the records, but the Vols haven’t defeated Florida since 2004 and this year they have as good as a chance as ever to beat the Gators. Locally, this game is a huge deal.
Freshmen Charles Mosley and Jack Jones each got first-team reps at guard during the preseason, but the Vols have elected to go with experience in Crowder, a sign the younger linemen may not be ready yet. The game in Gainesville might look like just any ordinary game to the outsider looking in, but to Butch Jones and his Vols, that could not be further from the truth.
“I really can’t (imagine what it would be like to go an entire career without beating Florida)”, Wilhoit said. Not only did they get a lead in the series with this streak, but they took a larger lead than the Vols had before the streak began.
But Dickey, a nine-year Mandarin resident, stays above the fray when asked about Saturday’s UF-Tennessee game, remaining neutral so as not to offend either school for which he still collects a nice pension. In the Oklahoma game, you saw a Tennessee team that didn’t quite believe it belonged yet, and that’s probably why they played not to lose down the stretch.
No team in the Southeastern Conference has more rushing attempts total (158) or per game (52.7) at this early stage than the Vols, who will test their ground game against a stingy Florida defense Saturday in Gainesville.