Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators
Saturday, September 24th, 2016 | 2:30pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Neyland Stadium
Knoxville, TN – No. 14/12 Tennessee renews one of its biggest rivalries when the Vols take on No. 19/16 Florida on Saturday at 2:30pm CT on CBS. ESPN College GameDay will kick off the festivities on Saturday at 8:00am CT.
Saturday will mark the second time this season that ESPN College GameDay will be on-site for a Tennessee contest. The College GameDay crew of Rece Davis, Samantha Ponder, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack was in Bristol, Tennessee, two weeks ago for the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol featuring the Vols and Virginia Tech.
Saturday also marks the first time since September 15th, 2012, that College GameDay is in Knoxville and the eighth time it has covered a Vols-Gators game, tying it with Florida-Florida State for the show’s most-covered rivalry.
Saturday’s broadcast on CBS will feature Verne Lundquist (PxP) and Gary Danielson (color analyst) calling the game from the booth and Allie LaForce reporting from the sidelines. Fans can also listen live on their local Vol Network affiliate with Bob Kesling, Tim Priest, Brent Hubbs and Eddie Moore in the booth with John Brice on the sidelines.
Tickets for the game can be purchased online via AllVols.com.
Tennessee is 19-26 all-time against Florida. Saturday’s game will mark the first meeting between the programs since 2012 in which both teams enter the game ranked and unbeaten. The Gators took a 28-27 win last year in Gainesville, FL, coming back from 13-point deficit with 14 points in the final four minutes.
UT is coming off of a 28-19 home win over Ohio on September 17th. Joshua Dobbs accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and led a balanced attack as the Vols managed 203 passing yards and 201 rushing yards. With key starters Cameron Sutton and Jalen Reeves-Maybin exiting the game due to injury, several of UT’s veteran reserves and younger players stepped up to contribute to the victory.
Florida took a 32-0 victory over North Texas on September 17th at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators defense limited North Texas to just 53 yards of offense and running backs Mark Thompson (85 yards), Jordan Scarlett (62 yards), Lamical Perine (57 yards) and Jordan Cronkite (46 yards) each scored in the win.
Vols on 9-Game Winning Streak
Following its 28-19 win over Ohio on Saturday, Tennessee has now won nine consecutive games dating to the 2015 season. It is the longest UT win streak since the Vols won 14 in a row, spanning a 13-0 1998 season to a victorious first game in 1999.
A win on Saturday would give the Vols their 12th double-digit winning streak in program history. The win streak is also the longest of Butch Jones’ career.
Neyland Stadium Turns 95
Saturday marks, to the day, the 95th anniversary of Tennessee’s first-ever game at Neyland Stadium. The Vols defeated Emory & Henry, 27-0, in the venue’s opener on September 24th, 1921. On opening day, the new stadium had 3,200 seats in 17 rows on the west side of the field.
Saturday’s game vs. Florida will be the 597th game that UT has played at Neyland Stadium. The Vols hold a 456-123-17 record at the iconic setting.
Tennessee and Uncle Verne
Saturday’s meeting marks the 19th occasion over the last 21 meetings that the Tennessee-Florida game will air on CBS.
Saturday is Lundquist’s 14th Tennessee-Florida game. He called the 2000 matchup and has been in the broadcast booth for the editions in 2001-02, 2004-11, 2013, and 2015-16.
Get Your Game Face On
The University of Tennessee Athletics Department, in partnership with longtime sponsor DISH, The Pat Summitt Foundation and IMG College-Vol Network, has developed a first-of-its kind community initiative calling on Vol fans to “Get Your Game Face On!”
Designed to bring awareness to the ongoing fight against Alzheimer’s, this “Game Face” fundraiser begins at the Vols’ SEC opener against the Florida Gators on Sept. 24. 102,455 `Game Face’ eye-black stickers to be given to fans at this week’s game.
Fans can get in early on the action with ‘Game Face’ eye-black sticker sales starting next week at retail outlets across Tennessee. The cost is $3.99 with $2 of every purchase going to The Pat Summitt Foundation. DISH is set to pledge $102,455 to The Pat Summitt Foundation
Use the hashtags #VolsGameFace and #DISHcares to spread the word about the DISH “Get Your Game Face On!” promotion.
Tennessee has scored 12 offensive touchdowns this season and is averaging 2:00 in time of possession on those touchdown drives.
The Vols have three TD drives of fewer than a minute this season. Their longest TD drive, coming against Ohio on September 17th, took 4:54. That drive also featured a season-high 11 plays.
UT’s overtime touchdown against Appalachian State was an untimed drive and did not factor into these averages.
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio is averaging 254 yards per game and has six touchdowns on 61.4 percent passing, but left the game against North Texas with an injury. He is unlikely to play against Tennessee.
Austin Appleby is expected to fill in for Del Rio at quarterback. He started 11 times while at Purdue before transferring to Florida in January.
Florida features a three-headed rushing attack of Mark Thompson, Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine. All three carried the ball 11 times and rushed for at least 57 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over North Texas. Each of them are averaging between 53.7 yards and 58.3 yards per game.