John Adams: Vols to quiet Gators, then beat them

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tennessee and Florida might as well have waited to open the season against each other. Their fans wouldn't be any more in the dark.

UT fans think they have a terrific passing attack. Florida fans think they have a dominant defense.

But that's based on games against noncompetitive opponents.

The uncertainty surrounding the Vols and Gators isn't related solely to feeble competition. Both teams are so young.

Florida is expected to start 14 freshmen or sophomores. UT will start 12.

This isn't business as usual in a rivalry that once dominated the SEC East. This is a surprise package.

UT fans should embrace the uncertainty. It signifies progress for a program that has lost six consecutive games in the series and five in a row by double-digit margins.

Tennessee 27, Florida 20: In the Vols' six-game, regular-season winning streak, they have outscored opponents 155-52 in the first half. Another fast start could work wonders on Saturday in The Swamp.

It would do more than bolster the Vols' confidence. It could quiet a crowd that can be the loudest in college football.

UT fans know just how loud. They've been listening to it for the last two decades. The decibel level has ranged from just loud to so loud I can't hear the person next to me in the press box.

But the volume can drop drastically when Florida is struggling as it did last year in a rare five-loss season.

Their fans have been spoiled by the success of a program that won national titles in 2006 and 2008, and was one victory short of a third in 2009. They don't go to The Swamp to see a struggle.

The Vols will need to change the volume before they change the course of the series.

Ole Miss 24, Vanderbilt 20: Commodores coach James Franklin hasn't yet become a household name in Nashville despite his team's 2-0 start. But he's at least the second-best-known James Franklin in college football behind the Missouri quarterback by the same name.

If you aren't impressed, you haven't been paying attention. The previous six Commodores coaches started out either 1-1 or 0-2.

Alabama 38, North Texas 0: The statues tell you all you need to know about the disparity between the programs.

Alabama has statues of coaches like Nick Saban. The Mean Green has a statue of a flying Eagle.

Georgia 45, Coastal Carolina 10: The Bulldogs will make school history by playing back-to-back games against teams with chicken mascots.

The Chanticleers are actually distant relatives of the South Carolina Gamecocks, who rallied to beat Georgia in the fourth quarter last Saturday. Coastal Carolina was a branch of the South Carolina University until 1993, which southern historians know as the year of the Chicken Rebellion.

South Carolina 40, Navy 24: The Gamecocks have uncovered a new scoring threat in 280-pound defensive lineman Melvin Ingram, who had two touchdowns against Georgia last week. But they continue to alternate two quarterbacks — Good Stephen Garcia and Bad Stephen Garcia.

Kentucky 23, Louisville 17: If there's a worse 2-0 team in the country than the Wildcats, it's playing in a cave. And thanks to Louisville's ineptitude, they're about to become the worst 3-0 team in the country.

Kentucky fans should savor the moment. Up next: Florida, LSU and South Carolina in succession.

Auburn 34, Clemson 30: Clemson will have the home-field advantage. That won't outweigh Auburn's coaching advantage.

Nor will it overcome Auburn's fourth-quarter magic, which quarterback Cam Newton apparently donated to the school upon his departure. It has come from behind to win 10 of its last 16 games.

Arkansas 51, Troy State 17: The Trojans gave up an average of 46 points per game in one four-game stretch last season. Forty-six points would be an off day for the Razorbacks.

There's no such thing as an off day when the Razorbacks are playing a Sun Belt Conference team. In the last 20 years, Arkansas is 16-0 against current members of the Sun Belt.

Top 25: Oklahoma 41, Florida State 24; Wisconsin 42, N. Illinois 17; Oklahoma State 45, Tulsa 17; Texas A&M 48, Idaho 14; Nebraska 38, Washington 23; Oregon 63, Missouri State 13; Virginia Tech 38, Arkansas State 14; Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 30; Ohio State 34, Miami 20; West Virginia 34, Maryland 31; Baylor 52, Stephen F. Austin 17; South Florida 40, Florida A&M 14; Illinois 34, Arizona State 30; TCU 42, Louisiana-Monroe 17; Texas 31, UCLA 24.

Record: 40-3 (.930) overall, 20-12 (.625) against the spread.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns

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Comments » 82

mdvol writes:

SHOCK and AWE in Gainesville! Even Sir Adams says so!

VOLS start the season 4-0! (Georgia 0-2)

UTbassdrummer writes:

Major ditto, JA!

SmokeDog1972 writes:

Ben Hill Griffith Stadium (on any Saturday in the Fall): The largest collection of mullets and muscle shirts outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Hoping Bray quiets the motley mass of mulletmen early in the game. Go Big Orange!!!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say WRONG. Witch Doctor have video evidence to the contrary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv5fYW...
Bones never lie.

Voluvr writes:

LET'S BEAT THEM FIRST BEFORE TALKING ABOUT IT.

SmokeDog1972 writes:

MrDonCorleone writes:

"So glad "Bray Pride Week" is almost at an end."

I guess being a native or resident of Florida, you would be all too familiar with "Bray Pride Week" festivities.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

"Mama" need to tell her litle girl to take up another hobby. Pretending to know football isn't her strong suit.

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

I just noticed that Charlie Weis is a couple of pounds overweight. Has anyone else noticed?

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ghost_of_which_doctor:

I just noticed that Charlie Weis is a couple of pounds overweight. Has anyone else noticed?

Witch Doctor say the other day looks like he lost the P90x DVD. lol
Bones never lie.

The_Real_Orange writes:

in response to SmokeDog1972:

Ben Hill Griffith Stadium (on any Saturday in the Fall): The largest collection of mullets and muscle shirts outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Hoping Bray quiets the motley mass of mulletmen early in the game. Go Big Orange!!!

Smack talk is great, but I wonder if you have ever gotten out and ridden thru the beautiful state of Tennessee? Nobody in the southeast United States should bother pointing a finger at another state and calling them rednecks and trailer trash. We all have our share. Just saying. UF 33-UT 21. Go Gators!!!

SmokeDog1972 writes:

"I just noticed that Charlie Weis is a couple of pounds overweight. Has anyone else noticed?
....."

You know the TV adds a couple hundred extra pounds....

He is the "Sweathog of the Swamp".

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor say Charlie make Fulmerites around the world feel good again! lol
Bones never lie.

mdvol writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Only 93% of the time right in 2011.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Witch Doctor chuckle...Hes just trying to get on Vol fans good side so his Car wont keep getting "keyed" in the parking lots!! lol.
Bones never lie.

SmokeDog1972 writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Smack talk is great, but I wonder if you have ever gotten out and ridden thru the beautiful state of Tennessee? Nobody in the southeast United States should bother pointing a finger at another state and calling them rednecks and trailer trash. We all have our share. Just saying. UF 33-UT 21. Go Gators!!!

You are correct to some extent. All states in the SE have their share of rednecks. All states in the US for that matter. But, I would say our rednecks have a higher ATC (Average Tooth Count) and shorter AHFP (Average Hair Flap Projection) than yours. And, that isn't even touching on Florida's leading status in DTF (Denim Tightness Factor).

tennezz writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Be sure and come back after the game Precious and get whats coming to you!

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to tennezz:

Be sure and come back after the game Precious and get whats coming to you!

Witch Doctor say he will but if Tennessee wins he's gonna change is username to "I_think_Tyler_is_just_Precious!!" lol.
Bones never lie.

tennezz writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say he will but if Tennessee wins he's gonna change is username to "I_think_Tyler_is_just_Precious!!" lol.
Bones never lie.

Right on Witchy!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Beat the Gators, but win with CLASS!!

Smokey says just shut up and play the game already..

VolinCalif writes:

in response to ghost_of_which_doctor:

I just noticed that Charlie Weis is a couple of pounds overweight. Has anyone else noticed?

I thought he was just pregnant

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

Come on people...Read between the lines!...Adams no more believes Dooley can beat the Gators than he believes cows can fly...He does however want the Vols to win...All so the Bengalies when they crush us in K-Town will have faced a ranked team....Florida will surely lose to Bama before LSU plays them. So it's better to clean up on an undefeated but secretly weak Vol squad....It's all about LSU and the BCS

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

Give them heck Witchy!!!

Vols 35
Lizards 34

UTVOL2001 writes:

I like JA's articles! They are funny! I dont care what team he cheers for, I always look for his name and read his article. KNS needs to keep him around the way things look around the office. Go VOLS!

DalTexVol writes:

in response to ghost_of_which_doctor:

I just noticed that Charlie Weis is a couple of pounds overweight. Has anyone else noticed?

I would like to see Gata OC Charlie Weiss vs. Dallas DC Rob Ryan in a sumo contest. I think Ryan could take him.

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to SmokeDog1972:

You are correct to some extent. All states in the SE have their share of rednecks. All states in the US for that matter. But, I would say our rednecks have a higher ATC (Average Tooth Count) and shorter AHFP (Average Hair Flap Projection) than yours. And, that isn't even touching on Florida's leading status in DTF (Denim Tightness Factor).

hahaha! Good stuff

Colliervol writes:

Lest we forget fellas, this is your last day to snap up that "special" deal to convert your other Vol site memberships to GVX247. Don't trip over each other jumping on that "opportunity".

OrangeHeart writes:

I think the best quote I've seen to date...... "Being a Kentucky fan the UT/UF game has no meaning to me, but like all christians, I hate Florida." Still peeing my pants over that one. GBO!

Jakevol writes:

If the Vols beat the gators this will be a wake up call to the SEC East. I would think this as an upset for them to win. We are due an upset. Someone is going to get busted this year by the Vols, not sure it will be, but someone is getting this year. I just hope they can maintain the postive wave they have shown and not become beached.

SevenT writes:

Florida fan hates Tennessee almost as much as they hate Florida State. How sweet would Gator taste for dinner tommorrow night?

GO VOLS

NeylandWest writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Say what you want, but he's 40-3 in his picks this season. Not bad

VOLliven2it writes:

It should be a good game. They have the home adv., we have some confidence on offense. We shall see how it goes. The early part of the game will be crucial for Tennessee. If Bray does not get time to throw, it'll be tough. I am a UT fan today, will be tomorrow when the game begins and when it ends no matter what the score. I am hoping we win but will not be crushed if we don't. There are plenty of games to win this year and hopefully this is one of them GO BIG ORANGE!

STLVOLS writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

It should be a good game. They have the home adv., we have some confidence on offense. We shall see how it goes. The early part of the game will be crucial for Tennessee. If Bray does not get time to throw, it'll be tough. I am a UT fan today, will be tomorrow when the game begins and when it ends no matter what the score. I am hoping we win but will not be crushed if we don't. There are plenty of games to win this year and hopefully this is one of them GO BIG ORANGE!

I completely agree with VOLliven2it. Just play the game. No matter how much smack talk goes on, the final score is what counts. I have been a Vol fan since living in Knoxville in 1960s and 70s. Moved to St. Louis thanks to UTK degree after graduation. No matter what happens, I am always a proud VOL fan and original Knoxville native.

UTK grad in St. Louis suburbs

bigdisbig writes:

I hope I am dead wrong but I don't think the Vol's defense can stop the gator's offense in the swamp. I am a Vol fan but I also am a realist. I say gators 28 Vols 17

STLVOLS writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I hope I am dead wrong but I don't think the Vol's defense can stop the gator's offense in the swamp. I am a Vol fan but I also am a realist. I say gators 28 Vols 17

After the game is played, we will know what is reality.

1965Vol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Florida fan hates Tennessee almost as much as they hate Florida State. How sweet would Gator taste for dinner tommorrow night?

GO VOLS

These dang Florida-dude-troll-fellars hate everybody ... even themselves.

1965Vol writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

I hope I am dead wrong but I don't think the Vol's defense can stop the gator's offense in the swamp. I am a Vol fan but I also am a realist. I say gators 28 Vols 17

Yup ... you may be dead wrong.

1965Vol writes:

in response to Whatthehellsgoingonoutthere:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yah, but there ain't too many people 8'-11". That's how tall the Chuckster would have to be for his weight. He would make Phil look scrawny.

Liberal_Vol writes:

I got tears rolling down my face Adams. Funniest stuff about the chicken mascotts I have read in a good while. Dry humor is absolutely brilliant John.

BigOrangeBill writes:

I truly wish I could like so many others here...just throw out a big winning score for the Vols. But truth is, I really just DON'T HAVE A CLUE who is going to win this game. Logic says Florida will beat us. But this Vol team and our GOOD new coach (and coaches) all combine to have really special potential. In fact, we may have the best QB and two receivers in the nation! (We'll know tomorrow night).

Also on Vols' side are...TALL, fast receivers (who can jump to the sky) against Florida's SHORT fast defenders (who just wish they COULD jump). Bad news is... we can't run with them (our questionable line, GREAT back but NO holes for him). Gator rush is GOOD...like nothing we've faced since the LSU game last year (wait, we had that one won...right? H'mmmm.) The Gators have offensive speed to burn and a huge 4 to 5 stars players O-line (still mostly very young!)

Geezzz, even though this one is TOUGH to pick I'll be in O&W, surrounded by friends screaming until hoarse until the final gun. If our Vols win I may celebrate ALL NIGHT tomorrow night. What a SIGNATURE win this would be for Coach Dooley!!! And for our Tennessee Volunteer football team.

thereturnoftriumph writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Beat the Gators, but win with CLASS!!

Smokey says just shut up and play the game already..

again well said p+g.
my prediction.
i go back to the movie "two for the money"
where the Mathew McConaghy (sp?) character flips a coin to predict the super bowl.
glad to see this game is relevant again.
vol nation, talk to you after the game, win or lose.
peace
tticd

Mtnbiker writes:

in response to The_Real_Orange:

Smack talk is great, but I wonder if you have ever gotten out and ridden thru the beautiful state of Tennessee? Nobody in the southeast United States should bother pointing a finger at another state and calling them rednecks and trailer trash. We all have our share. Just saying. UF 33-UT 21. Go Gators!!!

Wow a non smart@ss Gator fan, thank for dropping by and i agree. Even NYC has them, and NJ has guido's so i'd take rednecks any day over that.

rockypop writes:

Anytime there is doubt about the outcome of a game, just turn to the Las Vegas bookmakers. I read where these guys are right over 60% of the time. That's better than weather forecasters, and they have radar. Regrettably, it's Florida by 8-10.

Big58dVol writes:

I must admit that I have drank the Doolaid! I believe in this coaching staff and I believe in the team, last year the Gators had to use a trick play to regain some momentum and that team has gone form being boys to grown men! I expect to see them give their all for the Vols and drain the nasty swamp! Vols 34 Gators 24 Go Vols! Go Dooley and Go Big Orange Nation! Cheers!

Mtnbiker writes:

in response to rockypop:

Anytime there is doubt about the outcome of a game, just turn to the Las Vegas bookmakers. I read where these guys are right over 60% of the time. That's better than weather forecasters, and they have radar. Regrettably, it's Florida by 8-10.

You have a point there, but the smart money goes the other way when the late bets all go one way. So TN should win a squeaker.

Mtnbiker writes:

In fact this one is such a toss up I'd go for the over 50 instead. So long as 50 points is scored your a winner.

jobrando#216494 writes:

If the VOLS win it will be lopsided. They want win a close one because they dont know how yet. VOLS 42-17

murrayvol writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Much like the virgin wife on her honeymoon, you know it's coming but you have no idea how big it's going to be.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to thereturnoftriumph:

again well said p+g.
my prediction.
i go back to the movie "two for the money"
where the Mathew McConaghy (sp?) character flips a coin to predict the super bowl.
glad to see this game is relevant again.
vol nation, talk to you after the game, win or lose.
peace
tticd

hey triumph..how have you been?? I have asked about you a couple of times wondering about you..We need some Gator fans with class to chat with,so you need to visit more often.
Peace back to ya,
PAGSD

hglover40#234154 writes:

Not sure anyone cares - but I know people who follow recruiting love to discuss stars -
TN Offense starters avg stars 40
FL Offense starters avg stars 44
TN Defense starters avg stars 41
FL Defense starters avg stars 45 or 46

Talent closer than past years - still tilted to FL

Experience
Avg years in Program (including RS years)
TN Offense 26 years / 11 guys = 2.3
FL Offense 37 years /11 guys = 3.36
TN Defense 28 years / 11 guys = 2.54
FL Defense 28 years / 11 gays = 2.54

Coaching - it appears Dooley and Muschamp have both collected good staffs - let's call it even, however Dooley's staff has been with their guys a year longer - may be some kind of advantage.

In my head I see FL may have some advanatge, but I still have hope.

UT needs this to happen:
1 -protect Bray from the 5* DL so he can eat up their secondary
2 - win the turn-over battle
3 -stop the long runs by Rainey and Demps
4 - make Brantley drive the length of the field - he may throw some picks!

YOu may ask, Why is he wasting my time gather these worthless numbers - Cause I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE GAME TO START.

GOVOLS!!

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