It’s pretty simply really, play power football.
The team that has rushed for the most yards in the rivalry has won the contest the past 16 out of 18 years. Not to mention this will play to the apparent strengths of the offense. Arian Foster has rushed for 100 yards in both games this season. Backups Lennon Creer and Montario Hardesty have also looked impressive in their opportunities.
Emphasizing the run will also take the burden off Jon Crompton to make the plays that will win the game. Not to mention keep Tim Tebow and the prolific Gators offense off the field.
A two-tight end, two-wide receiver set with Gerald Jones and Lucas Taylor as the wideouts and Brandon Warren and Luke Stocker as the tight ends will provide Crompton with four quality targets and provide maximum pass protection.
Giving Crompton time to take five-step drops and go through only a two to three receiver progression will allow the strong-armed quarterback to make easier decisions and hopefully be a more effective passer; considering he is currently last in the conference in that category, he can only get better. I still have faith that Crompton is a talented quarterback. He would not have been offered a scholarship to play for the Big Orange if this was not the case.
The coaching staff needs to change the offense to play to his talents, as well as the rest of his teammates. Crompton is not quite yet the cerebral quarterback that can manage a West Coast-style offense that offensive coordinator Dan Clawson wants to run. I am confident that, with time and more game experience for Crompton, this could be possible. However, with what is by far the best team UT has played thus far, the game plan has to be about what can win the game, not what you want to run.
If Tennessee can rush for at least 150 yards, keep the penalties low, and not commit any turnovers, the Volunteers will have a chance. I don’t expect Florida to score a ton of points if Tennessee plays effective. The defense has looked downright dominant at times and already has seven interceptions.
My final prediction: Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty combine for 178 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Eric Berry has another pick-six off Tebow, and Tennessee wins, 24-21.
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