Florida vs. Tennessee: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

By Adam Silverstein
December 4, 2020
Florida vs. Tennessee: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel
Football

Image Credit: Michael Nash

With two games left in the regular season, No. 6 Florida Gators football has no room for error as it aims for a return to the SEC Championship Game and the program’s first appearance in the College Football Playoff. This topsy turvy season has handed Florida an interesting final two games on its 10-game, SEC-only slate in a pair of rivalry opponents.

The Gators’ push continues Saturday as Florida (7-1) travels to face the Tennessee Volunteers (2-5) at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. UF is just four years removed from its first loss to UT since 2004, but it enters the game as the clearly superior team.

History is on the line for redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask as the Gators are also looking to clinch the SEC East for the first time since 2016. What will go down Saturday afternoon in the Florida-Tennessee game? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

No. 6 Florida GatorsTennessee Volunteers
Head coachDan MullenJeremy Pruitt
Record7-12-5
ConferenceSECSEC

Injuries and absences

Questionable (3): LB Jeremiah Moon (foot), LB David Reese (shoulder), WR Trent Whittemore (ribs/lung)
Out for season (1): DB Ethan Pouncey (hip)
Inactive (?): TBA

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Dec. 5 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Neyland Stadium — Knoxville, Tennessee [25,000]

TV: CBS (Carter Blackburn, Aaron Murray, Jenny Dell)
Live stream: SEC on CBS Live | SiriusXM: 81| Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 29-20 all-time against Tennessee with victories in 14 of the last 15 meetings. The Gators are 13-12 in Neyland, 6-1 in the last seven such games with their lone rivalry loss since 2004 coming on the road in 2016.
» UF has outscored UT 81-24 in Mullen’s first two seasons.
» This is the first time the Gators and Vols have played in December since 2001 (due to 9/11) and the first time they will play a December game in Knoxville since 1928.
» Under Mullen, Florida is 20-1 when scoring first, 24-1 when leading after the third quarter, 18-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 6-2 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 21-0 when outrushing its opponent.
» UF lost for the first time when scoring first and leading after the third quarter this season vs. Texas A&M. It is now 6-6 when being outrushed by an opponent.
» Florida is 5-4 against ranked opponents (4-3 against top 10 teams) and 22-2 against unranked teams under Mullen.
» Mullen has begun his career 28-6 through 34 games, the best start in program history with Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier both going 27-7.

» The Gators have scored 24+ points in 23 of their last 25 games and 34+ points in 10 straight games, the longest stretch in program history.
» Florida has scored 347 points through its first eight games, the fifth-most at this point in program history. However, this team has played all eight of those games against SEC opponents.
» The Gators have scored 147 offensive touchdowns in 34 games under Mullen. They scored 93 in 38 games from 2015-17. UF has also scored 50+ points five times under Mullen compared to five times over 101 games from 2010-17.
» Florida is one of four FBS teams with 10+ players who have caught touchdowns this season.
» Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask is the first player in program history to throw 4+ touchdowns in six consecutive games. His 34 TD passes are five away from tying the program’s single-season record, and he currently leads the nation by four scoring tosses. He previously set an SEC record for most TDs through the first six games of a season and tied an FBS record for most through six games in the last 20 seasons (28). Trask is the first Gators signal caller to throw for 6+ touchdowns twice in a single season and the second to do it in his career (Danny Wuerffel).
» Senior wide receiver Kadarius Toney became just the 11th SEC player since 1996 to record a passing, rushing, receiving and punt return touchdown in his career.
» UF has scored in 406 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» Florida is one of only two FBS teams (Alabama) that has not lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record dating back to the 2008 season.
» UF in 2019 finished a season undefeated in The Swamp for the first time since 2016, the third time this decade and 14th time in program history.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -17 | O/U: 62

Florida playing Tennessee in Neyland Stadium is never a sure thing, no matter the opposite directions these teams appear to be heading. There’s just something about this rivalry that gives the Gators problems despite the fact that they’ve won 14 of the last 15 meetings. But this is also not a normal Vols team. They have lost five straight games by double digits for the first time in program history, including to a couple teams UF dominated in Kentucky and Arkansas. The early season success of Tennessee appears to be far gone, and Pruitt is most certainly on the hot seat – a seat Florida could completely set ablaze on Saturday.

Perhaps the biggest issue for the Gators on Saturday will be the weather. Kickoff temperatures are expected to be in the high 40s, and it could dip into the high 20s once the sun sets. Those are not conditions this team or these players are used to playing under. Winds will be low, but cold hands lead to dropped balls, slower-developing routes and potential miscues.

So I will take Florida to cover but have to side with this falling under the expected total. Especially considering how conservative Mullen has played with big leads in recent weeks.

2020 records: ATS picks 6-2 | O/U picks 2-6 | Overall: 8-8

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear its traditional style helmets but do so with blue as the primary color for the first time in program history. It will also wear white jerseys and blue pants.

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