Gator Bowl 2020: Indiana vs. Tennessee TV Schedule, Time and Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2020

Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

The Indiana Hoosiers and Tennessee Volunteers own a much different set of college football expectations. 

Indiana, a school known more for its basketball success, is guaranteed of its first winning campaign since 2007 and is looking for its first bowl victory since 1991. 

Tennessee is rich in tradition but has stumbled upon hard times in the last decade and is back in a bowl after two below .500 seasons. 

The Gator Bowl could either be a nice finish to a season that started poorly for the Vols or cap a terrific campaign for the Hoosiers. 

          

Gator Bowl Information

Date: Thursday, January 2

Start Time: 7 p.m. ET 

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TV: ESPN 

Odds (via Caesars): Tennessee (-2.5); Over/Under: 52

           

Preview

Wade Payne/Associated Press

Tennessee deserves credit for bouncing back from an uninspiring 1-4 start that began with home losses to the Georgia State Panthers and BYU Cougars. 

The Vols rallied to finish 7-5, but they played a much easier schedule than most SEC teams because they reside in a less competitive division. 

Three of Tennessee's last five wins came against teams that did not qualify for the postseason, which is why a victory over an eight-win Big Ten team would be a great morale boost going into next season. 

Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has been solid in the second half of the campaign with eight touchdowns and two interceptions during his team's five-game winning streak. 

The junior is facing an Indiana defense that allowed 211.7 passing yards per contest and over 30 points to its four opponents it played in December or January. 

Indiana could also struggle with containing the run after giving up 138.8 yards per contest on the ground. 

Vols freshman running back Eric Gray was the breakout star of the regular-season finale win over the Vanderbilt Commodores with 246 yards and three scores. 

If Jeremy Pruitt's team achieves offensive balance at TIAA Bank Stadium, it could cut through the Indiana defense. 

The same could be said about Indiana, especially if it challenges a Vols rushing defense that concedes 145.8 yards per game

Stevie Scott III and Sampson James combined for four 100-yard performances in the last seven games. The two totaled 13 of the team's 23 ground scores. 

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey has also played well of late with five touchdown passes, two 300-yard performances and a completion percentage over 70 percent on two occasions since the start of November. 

Whop Philyor, a 1,000-yard receiver and Florida native, headlines a collection of Ramsey's top targets that also includes Peyton Hendershot and Ty Fryfogle. 

Philyor has four performances over 130 receiving yards, and he is coming off a 138-yard, two-score outing against the Purdue Boilermakers. 

If the 17th-ranked Tennessee passing defense contains Philyor and Co., the Vols could pull ahead with some stops and cover the 2.5-point spread. 

The Vols' defensive production could also determine the total score. If they shut down the Hoosiers, the under of 52 points may be in play. 

But with a handful of playmakers on both offenses, the over seems like the more likely number to hit. 

                  

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.