9 Reasons I Am 100% Sure Tennessee Will Beat Florida This Saturday
Despite my reluctance to write this piece for fear of a jinx, I’ve been assured by the football gods that it is okay. Just to be safe, I’ll say this: The Florida Gators are a really really really good football team that will probably win every game for the rest of the season and the next year and the next year and they have a really good coach at the helm.
1. I will not be there.
I’ve seen this game coming up for a long time now, and known with complete certainty that this will be the day that Tennessee finally beats Florida in Knoxville, simply because I’m not there. While you may not think that the universe revolves around my presence, evidence says otherwise. Take last year’s game against South Carolina as an example.
Am I sad I’ll miss seeing UT beat Florida? Yeah, extremely. But better to win while I’m not there than lose while I am. You’re welcome, Vol Nation. (I will be accepting Paypal donations all of next week if anyone wants to thank me.)
2. The Vols have been co-signed by the Godfather of Crunk himself, Lil Jon.
I’m not going to get my hopes up for a Lil Jon appearance in Neyland on Saturday, but…actually, yeah, I’m getting my hopes up for a Lil Jon appearance in Neyland on Saturday. And if it happens, Florida might want to think about punting on 3rd down.
3. Checkerboard Neyland
You’ve surely heard of it by now. Go to www.checkerneyland.com/ to see what color to wear. The idea, started by Spencer Barnett (@CleVOLander) on Twitter, has gained a ton of steam, quite unique in that it’s purely fan-initiated. The execution here’s still to be seen, but there’s no doubt that you will be able to notice the checkerboard pattern in Neyland on Saturday. It will only add to what will be a raucous atmosphere.
4. The Vols Let the Choppers Spray
5. I have watched Tennessee play football this year.
This is a football team. They have talent. They have speed. They can hit. And while they can’t really block, they still scored 32 points last week on the road in the SEC. The defense is light years better, doing a terrific job of setting the edge and forcing things back inside compared to years past. Throws towards Cam Sutton’s side of the field have a better chance of being picked off than reaching the intended receiver, and, of course, that linebacking crew is ferocious.
6. Florida is extremely beatable.
The Vols should have beat Florida last year. Could have the previous year as well. There’s been nothing to suggest that Florida has gotten any better than last year’s team, infamously known for their great run blocking.
It took three overtimes for the Gators to take care of Kentucky at home this year, and last week’s drubbing at the hands of Alabama did nothing to give Florida fans’ any reason for optimism. It’s safe to say that the Gators are not a good football team right now.
7. It’s Jalen Hurd’s first SEC home game.
Have a nice next couple of days, Gators. You’re in for it, come Saturday.
8. The Vols have a quality quarterback.
Justin Worley has solidified himself not only as the starting quarterback for the Vols, but also as a real threat in the passing game. Despite a hit to his elbow last week, all signs indicate that he will be fine for Saturday’s game. He’s a big improvement over Peterman, who, to put it nicely, “struggled” in last year’s game against the Gators.
9. It’s time.
September 18, 2004. That’s the last time Tennessee beat Florida. Nine-game losing streak. But streaks are meant to be broken. The regression to the mean is bound to occur. Saturday will mark the end of an ugly decade, and the start of a new, brighter one. I’m 100% sure.