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Florida Football: 3 Keys to Victory Against Tennessee

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  Mike Gillislee #23 of the Florida Gators at Kyle Field on September 8, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Kyle CaseyCorrespondent IIINovember 1, 2016

On Saturday night, the Florida Gators travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to face their conference rivals, the Tennessee Volunteers. 

Beating Tennessee on the road won't be an easy task for the Gators, as the Volunteers' offense is one of the best in the SEC. But, if Florida can contain the high-scoring Tennessee offense, they will be able to win and start the season 3-0.

Here are three keys to victory for the Gators:

Zero Turnovers

In the first two games for the Gators, the team has only committed one turnover. That came in the season opener against Bowling Green in which a fumble was recovered by the Falcons. Besides that, the Gators have prided themselves on ball security, and that must continue on Saturday night.

With Tennessee wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson having the ability to score on any given play, the Gators must limit the amount of possessions for the Vols by not turning over the ball. 

 

 

Hold Justin Hunter and Coradarrelle Patterson to Under 70 Yards Each

In each of Tennessee's first two wins of the season, star receiver Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson have recorded at least 70 receiving yards each. Hunter had 73 yards on nine catches in the season opener against NC State, and followed that up with 146 yards on eight catches last week against Georgia State.

Patterson caught six passes for 93 yards in the season opener, and then had three catches for 71 yards last week. The passing game is the strong point of Tennessee's offense, and the Gators must shut down the passing game by limiting Hunter and Patterson to their lowest receiving yard totals so far this season. 

If Florida can limit Hunter and Patterson and keep them out of the end zone, beating Tennessee will be a much easier task. 

 

Limit Tyler Bray to less than 300 Passing Yards

With stopping Hunter and Patterson comes the task of limiting Tennessee's star quarterback Tyler Bray. In each of Bray's two games this season, he has thrown for over 300 yards. While Florida's pass defense presents a much more difficult task than N.C. State or Georgia State, reaching the 300-yard mark is not out of reach for Bray. 

With one of the strongest arms in college football, Bray has the ability to pick apart the Florida defense, especially with the deep ball. Florida must have coverage over the top on almost every play to contain Bray's strong arm. 

Holding Bray to under 300 yards would likely result in less points than the past two weeks for the Volunteers' offense, putting Florida in position to win.

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