Tennessee football wasn't supposed to be in the position it's currently in. This was supposed to be a bounce-back year. A season in which they finally put it all together and became a SEC contender.
But the Volunteers lost to Georgia State in a horrific upset on Aug. 31. Then, BYU came to Knoxville, scored a late game-tying touchdown and beat Tennessee in overtime. Disaster is an understatement. And the Volunteers still have nine regular season games remaining.
There is room for optimism though. Tennessee bounced back and beat Chattanooga 45-0 last Saturday. Yes, it's only Chattanooga. But shutting out any opponent is noteworthy — plus, it's something positive to build on.
Now, the Volunteers head to Gainesville to face No. 9 Florida. The Gators are 14-point favorites, and many national experts are unsurprisingly picking Florida to win. But a popular SEC Network analyst smells an upset brewing.
He's got a point. Florida is without Feleipe Franks, who suffered a season-ending injury last week. But the Gators were able to come back against Kentucky with backup QB Kyle Trask leading the way.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen announced earlier this week he isn't opposed to utilizing a two-QB system. If the Gators aren't well prepared, Tennessee may be able to take advantage.
There have been crazier upsets so far this season — one of which involved the Volunteers. But Florida must be sharp against a Tennessee team with nothing to lose.
Tune in to ESPN at noon ET to watch Florida-Tennessee on Saturday.