September 10, 2007
The Monday Lowdown
Welcome to our weekly Lowdown as Tennessee gets set to travel to Florida on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. game in The Swamp that will be televised by CBS. The Gators are ranked third this week in the coaches' poll and fifth in the Associated Press poll. The Vols are ranked 24th in the coaches' poll and 22nd in the Associated Press poll. Oddsmakers have made Florida an 8 ½-point favorite.
|SEC Power Rankings|
|(1.) LSU, 2-0, beat Virginia Tech 48-7 |
(2.) Florida, 2-0, beat Troy 59-31
(3.) South Carolina, 2-0, beat Georgia 16-12
(4.) Tennessee, 1-1, beat Southern Miss 39-19
(5.) Georgia, 1-1, lost to South Carolina 16-12
(6.) Alabama, 2-0, beat Vanderbilt 24-10
(7.) Kentucky, 2-0, beat Kent State 56-20
(8.) Arkansas, 1-0, open
(9.) Auburn, 1-1, lost to South Florida 26-23 (OT)
(10.) Vanderbilt, 1-1, lost to Alabama 24-10
(11.) Mississippi State, 1-1, beat Tulane 38-17
(12.) Mississippi, 1-1, lost to Missouri 38-25
|The Number -|
6 - Number of different players who scored touchdowns for Florida in the first half of the Gators' 59-31 win over Troy last Saturday. Running back Kestahn Moore, quarterback Tim Tebow, receiver Percy Harvin, receiver Andre Caldwell, receiver Jarred Fayson and tight end Cornelius Ingram all reached the end zone.
|Mouthing off - |
"The season really starts now, and we know that. Everybody in Neyland Stadium knows that." - Tennessee junior defensive tackle Demonte Bolden
|Did you know?|
The last time the loser of the Florida-Tennessee game made it to the SEC Championship Game was 1997 when the Vols did it and won their first of back-to-back SEC titles.
How They Match Up
It's no coincidence that the team that's rushed for the most yards has won 15 of the last 17 games in this series. The onus this weekend will be on the Vols' offensive line and running game and being able to get a consistent push against Florida's front. Unless there's another appeal out there we don't know anything about, Marcus Thomas won't be back. He dominated last year's game. The Gators have been average at the defensive tackle position the first two weeks, but are really good at the ends. The Vols have to be able to run the ball some to soften up the Gators' defense and take their shots down the field, which means they better not be in a lot of 2nd-and-9's during the game. If they are, it could be a long, steamy afternoon for the Vols in Gainesville.
Some of the other key matchups to watch include Tennessee's kickoff coverage versus James, who's one of the most dangerous return men in the SEC.
David Cutcliffe versus Charlie Strong will be intriguing. How aggressive is Cutcliffe, and how does Strong protect his youthful secondary?
Individually, Derrick Harvey versus Eric Young will be one to watch. It will be Young's first real test at left tackle against a good pass rusher. Remember that Young gave up three sacks a year ago from the right tackle spot to Arkansas' Jamaal Anderson.
Think Tennessee middle linebacker Jerod Mayo will be keeping a close eye on Tebow? Quarterback draws have hurt Chavis' defenses over the years, and how the Vols handle Tebow's mobility will be key. He had his way against the Vols a year ago when everybody knew he was running. What will he do against them as a dual-threat guy?
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