Tennessee-Florida, Alabama-Ole Miss, Texas A&M-Mississippi St., Auburn-LSU all in Week 6 Vegas SEC Predictions

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Vegas SEC Predictions Week 6

Florida Gators at Tennessee Volunteers

Line: Tennessee by 2.5

This is truly a sad story. The rivalry that once stopped the college football world has fallen to a noon game that nobody is even considering as one of the top three games in the SEC this week. If you want perspective, this is the first time since the rivalry began on an annual basis in 1990 that neither team is ranked going into it. But with one program trying to stay afloat and another looking for a signature win to get back on the rise, and with the SEC East race wide open, this game still means a whole lot to both teams.

Florida desperately wants to prove Will Muschamp is the right guy and the program is headed in the right direction. A loss to the Vols, ending the nine-game winning streak, would demoralize the Gators. Muschamp’s defense needs to do the demoralizing on Saturday, though, by forcing a young and inexperienced Tennessee offensive line into making way too many mistakes, keeping the whole offense from getting a rhythm. That will help the Gators force turnovers and keep the Vols offense from moving. The Gators offense, meanwhile, has to look a lot better with Jeff Driskel than it has, and that starts with not turning the ball over. If Driskel can lead a few good drive and the defense can force a young offense into making lots of mistakes, this game belongs to the Gators.

Before Tennessee can focus on any tangible keys to the game, they have to get over the psychological hold Florida has on them. This nine-game streak is weighing on the fans heavily and coaches and players to a lesser degree. Knowing they can beat Florida has to be the first step. Decent blocking by the offensive line has to be the next step. The unit showed dramatic improvement from Oklahoma to Georgia, and it has to improve again with a very talented and complex Florida defense facing it. If the line can’t block, this game is doomed from the start. But if it can, Justin Worley and the skill players, including Jalen Hurd and Marquez North, can make plays against the Gators. Meanwhile, the defense has to keep Driskel and the offense looking as bad as it has been. Those two things will lead to victory.


Tennessee’s offensive line is still a big question mark, but based on the improvement it showed last week, it should be able to play decent enough against the Gators. With that, Butch Jones will be able to scheme a game plan that allows Worley to get rid of the ball quickly to his skill players and puts up points for the offense. That will get the crowd going along with the defense, which will wreak havoc on the inconsistent Florida offense. When it’s all over, the Vols will have their biggest psychological win in 10 years. The psychological effect won’t weigh on the young players or coaches either because hardly any of them have been involved in more than one game in the series. The streak to them is irrelevant, and it will be irrelevant to the Vols fans after Saturday.

Tennessee: 27 Florida: 13

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