Are we really that far behind Florida?

jakez4ut

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They have a better OL, DL, LBs, WRs and head coach. We have a slight advantage at QB, RB and DB.
OL's are probably more of a push....yet to be seen that either unit is going to be all that great.....i think both teams feel ok about where they are though.

and i'm not sure about RB's may also be a push or slight edge to them.

in fact, i think there's more push's than anything, with them having the biggest advantage at DL and LB.....DL being the biggest gap, and is the main reason i see it being a difficult game for us to win.....
 

Jaws

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They have a better OL, DL, LBs, WRs and head coach. We have a slight advantage at QB, RB and DB.
QB is very debatable, I like Chandler at RB but Perine’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is elite, and I think you’re way off base on your DB assessment. Tennessee does not have a CJ Henderson or a Marco Wilson. Henderson is a top 10 NFL pick, Wilson was a better CB than him before his injury. Trey Dean is excellent. Safety Brad Stewart had the acrobatic pick v UT last year near the goal line and the game-winning pick six against LSU. He’s elite if he can stop smoking weed in his down time. You can convince me otherwise but I don’t see elite players at DB for UT yet. They’ll get there, but not yet.
 

jakez4ut

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QB is very debatable, I like Chandler at RB but Perine’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is elite, and I think you’re way off base on your DB assessment. Tennessee does not have a CJ Henderson or a Marco Wilson. Henderson is a top 10 NFL pick, Wilson was a better CB than him before his injury. Trey Dean is excellent. Safety Brad Stewart had the acrobatic pick v UT last year near the goal line and the game-winning pick six against LSU. He’s elite if he can stop smoking weed in his down time. You can convince me otherwise but I don’t see elite players at DB for UT yet. They’ll get there, but not yet.
well florida doesn't have alontae taylor or bryce thompson.....so........i think we're fine at CB, and i'd put them up against almost anyone in the SEC. they good.

the only two spots i'd say you guys have a very clear advantage is at DL and LB. evertything else imo is debatable. but it may not matter one way or the other, because that front 7 advantage should be the reason you win this year. should be.
 

XknoxvolsX

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No one is remembering that Mullen took over the second worst program in the West and turned them into winners. Now, it took him several years to accomplish that. Seems everyone forgot that it was said just before that incredible run with Prescott that if he did not win and win impressively that he would also be gone.
 

jakez4ut

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No one is remembering that Mullen took over the second worst program in the West and turned them into winners. Now, it took him several years to accomplish that. Seems everyone forgot that it was said just before that incredible run with Prescott that if he did not win and win impressively that he would also be gone.
the issue with Mullen was never that he wasn't a winner.

it was always how/why?

he took MSU from bottom feeder to perrennial bowl team, which is an accomplishment no doubt.

but..and this is the big but......how would that translate at TN or FL?

does he go from being a 7 or 8 win coach at MSU to a 9 or 10 win coach at FL or TN because he elevated FL or TN ; or did he elevate because he's at FL or TN????? either way, he's probably going to wind up with more wins and better career #'s at either of those schools....so it's going to look "better" regardless.........

and how confident is anyone that he could take either of those programs to a national title shot, with any semblence of regularity?

and the issue always came back to his recruiting prowess. conventional wisdom said he'd have a harder time at TN because he's not "great" at recruiting. and that it'd be easier at FL simply because of teh local talent base he could draw from w/out anywhere near the effort it would require at TN.

early returns kinda say that's played out to be somewhat true. the signed a good class, that we've now seen sorta fall apart.....you're seeing the transfers......Dan is getting kids that think it's still cool to go to FL and that think he's a cool guy.

i'm not convinced it's because there's real purpose behind it, for the player or the coach.

FL fans will have less patience if he muddles around 9 wins a year for too long. one reason i think last year's 10 wins may hurt him a bit going forward.....according to many FL fans....he's already got them there. they expect MORE.........NOW. so come up and win 8 or 9 games this year, 8 or 9 next year...........and they'll do to him what they did to Mac.

time will ultimately tell tho.
 

njvols

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I don't think we ar "that far behind" like some of the media are saying. As long as the o line can make improvements we will be in much better shape to be competitive in this game
I agree...we may not win. But, we self destructed with all the turn overs. Taking away those turnovers makes it at least a much closer game. In a vacuum, if we played them in our semi-hot stretch (Auburn thru KY, where we also should have won the SC game), I think we'd have given them a game. I think most folks look at UF record last year, and the score, and just assume we're way behind them. Outside of top 2-3 teams, the margin of error for wins in SEC is razor thin...you get a couple unlucky or self inflicted bounces, which turn into losses, all the sudden creates that downward spiral we've been on forever.
 

08Vol

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Last year, the coaching gap was wider than the talent gap. Hopefully, a majority of the on the job training is over and the better OC will narrow the scoreboard gap.
Last year UF had 6 or 7 players voted onto the preseason All SEC 1st, 2nd, or 3rd team. UT only had 1, Trey Smith, and he probably is done playing football.
UF had 5 players drafted in the 2019 draft. No UT players were drafted.

The coaching gap was huge and the talent gap was too. Fans want to blame the 6 turnovers for the blowout but turnovers don’t equal blowouts if a team is good. Quick history lesson:
In 98 UT forced 5 UF turnovers, UT won in OT.
In 2008 UT intercepted UCLA’s QB 4 times in the first half. UCLA won in OT.
In 2016 Texas A&M forced 7 UT turnovers, A&M won in OT.
 

sechamp2012

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Potential positive:

Florida has a night game at Kentucky on ESPN the week before our meeting.

That should keep them from thinking about us considering what happened last year when they overlooked Kentucky.

We play Chattanooga, though, so I expect our coaching staff will have us very prepared for the Swamp and we'll have a close game.


Do you mean we will have a close game with Chattanooga like the Charlotte game last year or the Florida game will be close.
I think last year we did not prepare for Charlotte ergo the close game and prepared for UK which worked in the end, we won both.
 

livefaith

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I personally can’t argue any point you made. Although there are those that feel we got dominated physically last year I see it differently. I seen a team that matched up physically but made too many mistakes to beat OURSELVES. I think we win or lose by 7 or less this season without the mental mistakes or turnovers.
Honest question. How many years since 1992, could our game against UF be characterized with this phrase? Not just winning, but not "sharting the bed" in a game where you watch in disbelief as the team on the field does not perform up to their ability.

I could point to these ...
98'(Except for McGriffs big play, we played solid)
03' (About like we were able, could have done even more imo)
04' (XPt inexplicable, but quiet good w 2 FR QBs)
09' (Way overmatched, but we hung around w/o callapse)
10' (Overmatched again, but made it interesting requiring fake punt.)

Five games in 25 years, I could honestly say we played a really solid game fundamental game. Even in 01' we did incredible things, but the weird mistakes were mind blowing (See J Witten).

My point is, we need some kind of coaching staff that can have us prepared mentally for this early season game. I hope we have it. Evidence form 18' sure doesn't help the case.
 

08Vol

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Florida was a top 10 team last year but I still think they were overrated. They lost to Kentucky, who we beat. They barely won over USCjr, which we should have beat (That game pissed me off). They lost to Missouri... BADLY at their homecoming. The reason they got ranked so high was the win over LSU, which LSU should win 7/10 times. They also had a much softer schedule in comparison to ours. The only really tough teams they faced were LSU and Georgia.

Outside of their winning schedule last season I don't see where they are better than us. We should be very close competitively. People thought so last year until absolutely nothing went right for us in that game. You couldn't write a much worse game than what happened to our team that day. It was one for the history books kinda bad. I don't see that happening again.
UGA lined up with 1st and goal at the UF 3. UF stopped them. Over the next 6 plays UGA wasn’t able to move the ball 3 yards and turned it over on downs. That included a PI call on 3rd down that gave UGA a 1st and goal from the 1. Show me the last time our team has stopped anyone from moving the ball 3 yards in a goal to go scenario, much less one of the most talented and physical teams in the country.
 

VolsGrad1989

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Hate the gators with a passion. But the reality is UF has some built in advantages over TN, and always has. That doesn't mean UT can't beat them, but even back in the Vols' glory years of the 90s we lost to UF more than we won. Their primary advantage is in recruiting. Florida is the 3rd most populous state in the union. It has prep talent out the wazoo. I have said before that UF could recruit every player it needs and not drive more than 2 hours from Gainesville. While recruiting in TN is better than it used to be, thanks to the growth of metro Nashville, it is still miles behind the prep talent that Florida churns out. Add to the fact that a major source of prep talent in TN is in the Memphis area, which is a solid 7-8 hour drive from Knoxville, and which is closer in proximity to Ole Miss, MS State, LSU, Arkansas and heck even Tuscaloosa. I grew up in West TN and I know from experience that a lot of Memphis area people don't even view UT as the state university. To beat UF, UT must recruit nationally at a consistent, high level. We were competitive in the 90s mainly because UGA was down and Clemson off the radar, so UT was sucking up great players from GA and the Carolinas. Not anymore.

UF has also been far more intelligent with its AD and coaching hires. Obviously. I feel like for many years UT's leadership has been very poor. Just timid. No one wants to rock the boat. I think this is getting better and there is better alignment between the players, coaches, AD, and UT administration. At least I hope so.

Anyway, combine all of the foregoing, and you see a pretty big hill to climb.
How slow do you drive for the drive to be 7-8 hours? Driving the speed limit, it is 5:45 (driving time only) barring construction and other delays. But, you make a valid point about those other SEC schools being closer or as close. AU, Arkansas, Mizz, LSU, UK are about the same distance, MSU, UM, VU, and Bama are closer. Only USC, UGA, UF, and UTAM are further from Memphis than UT. You are right. That does make a difference in recruiting for us owning Memphis when competing against other SEC schools! Let's face it. Some players and parents prefer the closer schools for conveinence of travel!!! I think UT is somewhat successful in VA, NC, SC, and especially GA due to it's close proximity to UT. Distances does make a difference more than it doesn't.
 
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1vol8

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Eh...don’t disagree with anything you said but it’s TEAMS that win or lose not position matchups. Mullen is just at home at UF and his advantage is he doesn’t have to recreate the wheel there like Pruitt has to with us.

Mullen inherited a familiar culture with players who are a better fit with what he wants to do. He can overachieve on O while piecing together a D.

Pruitt inherited a soft losing culture with a lot of diverse athletes. He has to piece together an aggressive physical D AND a winning team mindset while letting Chaney piece together a productive O. Pruitt and Chaney have to recruit and develop the right players for their schemes going forward and quickly develop the new players they’ve brought in. So there are a lot more pieces to put together on our side.

That’s what 2019 is for. We’ll be basically where UF is now in 2020 imo. From that point on the teams should be pretty even going forward if things continue as they’re going.

Can we beat UF in 2019? Absolutely. Will the game be highly competitive? I’d be willing to bet on it. Don’t think we’ll get curb stomped. Are we going to win? Possible but unlikely in 2019.
Anyone that says we’ll be beat has firm ground to stand on. Anyone that disagrees has firm ground as well. I’m just one that believes we are actually chasing UGA at this point and not UF. If we don’t beat ourselves, I think UF as it stands has a hard time with us. UGA on the other hand does have the better team from QB to Dline. But I believe our commits from 2019 and 2020 are better in key positions. I think in 2021 we are competing for the east.
 

KBVol

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Top 10 teams don't get monkey stomped by Missouri in November!
Do what? Our team was straight trash last year and we beat the brakes off of #11 Kentucky in November....sometimes that happens. Bottom line, Florida won 10 games last year to our 5 and they beat the hell out of us in Neyland....they’re far ahead of us right now, as usual.
 

KBVol

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Anyone that says we’ll be beat has firm ground to stand on. Anyone that disagrees has firm ground as well. I’m just one that believes we are actually chasing UGA at this point and not UF. If we don’t beat ourselves, I think UF as it stands has a hard time with us. UGA on the other hand does have the better team from QB to Dline. But I believe our commits from 2019 and 2020 are better in key positions. I think in 2021 we are competing for the east.
So, explain the firm ground one would be on if they disagree that we’ll lose to Florida this year. They’re a preseason top 10-12 team, we’re probably gonna he picked to finish 5th or so in the East and we’re coming off an embarrassing beatdown to UF last year....not to mention that we’ve lost like 14 of 15 to them.
 

1vol8

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So, explain the firm ground one would be on if they disagree that we’ll lose to Florida this year. They’re a preseason top 10-12 team, we’re probably gonna he picked to finish 5th or so in the East and we’re coming off an embarrassing beatdown to UF last year....not to mention that we’ve lost like 14 of 15 to them.
Read back in my original comment. Not going to type it all out again. We match up well talent wise. We have the better coaching staff. Last yr we had a team that liked to quit. I’m sure those that start this yr understand that there’s someone with perhaps a higher ceiling in the waits right behind them. I actually hope the quitters quit again because we’ll be a better team for it in the long run.
 

vegasvolfan

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Screw Florida

Last year’s loss to UF was tough, mainly because it’s UF but also by how badly we got beaten. Going into that game though, everyone thought it would be much closer.

We were fresh off arguably the worst season in UT football history. It was our 3rd game. We had 6 turnovers... 6. We had two true freshmen DBs that didn’t hit their stride until later in the season. Guarantano got injured in the second half. The entire team was under coached in the Butch years particularly with strength and conditioning. Pruitt didn’t seem to have control of the team like an established/seasoned head coach normally would because I think the team as a whole seemed liked it was still trying to figure out its identity under the too fresh of a coaching change.

With where we are now, and assuming Pruitt and this team has found their identity, I don’t think the Florida loss will be a blowout this year. I’m not saying we win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we pull it off.

Most of our roster is returning. Everyone has a year of the new system under their belt. The new strength and conditioning will hopefully pay off big for our boys. I believe our coaching staff is top notch and Pruitt wants to dominate; that mentality will spread to the players. Mullen doesn’t seem to have a good relationship with his team (his 2019 class has been a disaster and may continue). And doesn’t Tennessee return more starters than Florida?

I believe most of our shortcomings since last year have been remedied. What people thought would be a close game last year will end up being this year if I had to guess.

Outside of battling in the swamp this year, where does Florida outmatch us? Seriously, enlighten me because I would like to know.
Last year was at home and this year is in the swamp and they ended with beating the tar out of Michigan and Franks had a good season. They beat us this year IMO. I hope it is close!
 

Remy

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We had 6 turnovers on like our first 7 possessions when we were around the 25 yard line, of course the score was lopsided.

I know you and probably most college football fans inherently know this, but good teams do not beat themselves. 1 turnover is too many when playing a good opposing team. 6 turnovers, not to mention early in a game, does not translate into the idea good football was played. UF had to do nothing but watch us self destruct, which we happily did for them. We were not close to being a good football team last year.
 

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