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SEC Showdown In The Swamp

The biggest game in week 3 of the college football season will take place in Gainesville when the Florida Gators take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Both teams are coming off of wins last week against FCS programs. This is gonna be the biggest test for both teams up to this point. Florida wants to get themselves back into the conversation as one of the teams to look out for not only in the SEC East, but in the SEC as a whole.

Last year's matchup featured both Anthony Richardson and Hendon Hooker, who both had excellent games. It came down to the last play of the game where Richardson attempted a Hail Mary pass that fell short in a 38-33 Florida loss. The Gators showed a lot of toughness in the game and had plenty of opportunities to win it, but made too many mistakes. Both teams have new quarterbacks this season: Graham Mertz for Florida and Joe Milton for Tennessee.

For Florida to win this game, they have to do what they did last week against McNeese State: establish the running game. It starts up front with the offensive line. I don't really put a lot of stock into what they did last week because of the competition, but they played much better than they did the previous week. Montrell Johnson, Trevor Etienne and Treyaun Webb were all able to run the ball efficiently and each scored touchdowns. If they can continue to do that, they'll be able to open up the play action pass and control the clock. I like Florida's chances to win if the running game gets going early and often.

Statistically, Florida has been one of the best defenses in the country. They're ranked #3 in total defense, giving up only 191 yards a game through two games. For Florida to win this game, they need to be able to get some pressure on Joe Milton. They also can't let him utilize his legs and escape the pocket. The secondary has been really good for Florida for the most part through two games. If they're able to force a couple of turnovers, it'll get the crowd behind them and really change the momentum of the game.

Ricky Pearsall is the best wide receiver on the team, but Eugene Wilson III is my x-factor for the game because he's such a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. Billy Napier needs to get the ball in his hands in different ways because he's a threat to score any time he touches the ball. If he's able to break a couple for big gains or a touchdown, it'll open up more of the offense for Florida and take pressure off of the running backs and Graham Mertz.

Stay tuned to for more on the Florida Gators.

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