Vols Look to End Eight Year Drought Against Florida

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Updated: 9/18/2013 6:43 pm

As bad as Tennessee's loss to Oregon was, it doesn't affect their standing in the SEC. But that all changes Saturday as the Vols open their league schedule against rival Florida.

If Tennessee thought Oregon had a tough defense, head coach Butch Jones says the Gators defense might be even better. "When you think of defenses in the SEC. When you watch Florida on film, they define SEC defenses. Third down conversions, I've never seen this in all my years of coaching. They lead the country in third down conversions. They've given up 2 out of 24 attempts. For us, we have to establish the line of scrimmage, and this week will be a tremendous challenge."

The Gators are stout up-front on defense, while the Vols are stout up-front on offense. Said Florida head coach Will Muschamp,"This will be the best offensive line we will face this year. Our guys felt that way last year after we played them."

Reporter-"Will, when your guys see Oregon put up 59 points on that Tennessee defense last week, are you guys kind of licking your chops?" Said Muschamp,"We just need to take care of Florida, and we will get Tennessee's best effort. It's the start of the SEC schedule. Their tempo and momentum will be a little different walking in here, I can assure you of that."

But the tempo and momentum of the Florida-Tennessee rivalry has been all Gators. They've won eight straight. Said Muschamp,"Still a huge rivalry, and it's a very important game to the University of Florida." Added Jones,"It's a great rivalry game versus a great football program. A well coached football team with great football players on the road in a great environment. This is what makes college football. Rivalry games. The pageantry of college football. That's what makes it special. This game should live with you the rest of your life."

Saturday's game will kick at 3:30pm on WDEF News 12.

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