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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Wyatt Earp Wears Orange Pants Too


By Michael Bailey
Checkerboard Chatter Contributor
CBC_MDBailey

There are many people who owe thanks to the video game manufacturer Electronic Arts including John Madden, who gained immense fame and fortune by loaning his name to the pro football title for decades, stockholders who have earned impressive margins due to the company’s success, and countless athletes who have been featured in their titles over the years.

Today I suggest that no one owes them a bigger ‘Thank You’ than yours truly. For over 15 years now, I have been executing Wyatt Earp style justice to UT Vol opponents on a video game console after the real world offered me no other alternative.

You see, when I play NCAA 12, my center delivers shotgun snaps like Steve Nash. My offensive line can push around any defensive front to create space for the backs to roam. My quarterback sees the entire field and hits receivers in stride who never drop a pass. For that matter, my receivers don’t get injured. My punting unit picks up all its blocks, and my defense doesn’t lose the opposition’s most dangerous athlete in the open field.

You thought Wyatt Earp was intimidating in Tombstone? Ike Clanton and Johnny Tyler look like William Wallace of Braveheart compared to Nick Saban and Will Muschamp on NCAA 12 when I’m at the controls.

If only reality would more closely resemble the electronic universe…The Vols would be on a 150 game winning streak. We would have to build a new complex just to house the numerous SEC and National Championship trophies. My tight end, wide receivers, running back, and quarterback would be the only invitees to NYC for the annual Heisman ceremony.

But life isn’t perfect. The Vols don’t win every game, championship, or Heisman trophy. They operate in an imperfect world where setbacks routinely appear in the form of losses and injuries.

Though I regret witnessing another Vol defeat at the hands of arch rival Florida Gators yesterday, I am eagerly awaiting to see how this Vols team responds to the adversity it now faces. Will they collectively regroup and rise to the occasion when Buffalo comes to town Oct. 1? Or will they lament the loss of star receiver Justin Hunter and mail in the remainder of the 2011 season?

I’m not sure what happens next in reality, but I’m certain Wyatt Earp will get his man in the virtual world.

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Posted in Electronic Arts, Gators, Michael Bailey, NCAA 12, Vols football, Will Muschamp Nick Saban | Leave a comment

Rainey lifts Gators to 33-23 win over Vols

by Michael Bailey
Checkerboard Chatter Contributor
@CBC_MDBailey

For the seventh consecutive year, Tennessee will have 364 days to stew over a loss to the Florida Gators. Thanks to a stellar performance by its defensive line, special teams, and special player, Chirs Rainey, Florida downed the Vols 33-23 today in The Swamp.

Florida took a 7-0 lead on a one yard pass from John Brantley to Justin Burton with 10:45 remaining in the first stanza, and the Gators never trailed during the contest en route to notching their third win on the young 2011 season.

Chris Rainey made plays all over the field all afternoon. He blocked a punt, racked up 108 rushing yards, and he reeled in a short pass from Brantley that he turned into a 83 yard TD after turning Florida Field into an outdoor track.

The rivalry has been an annual affair since 1992, but today’s contest marked the first match up between former coworkers Will Muschamp and Derek Dooley. Muschamp earned his way to Gainesville due to his defensive acumen, and the unit did not disappoint.

Florida held Tennessee to 279 total yards of offense, the majority of which came on a late second quarter TD drive. Any Gator fan will attest their chore became easier after star receiver Justin Hunter left the game at the 9:12 mark of the first quarter with a knee injury.

The Vols will have 13 days to lick their respective wounds. They host Buffalo on October 1 for a non conference tune up before welcoming SEC East rival Georgia to Neyland Stadium.

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Posted in Gators, Vols football | Leave a comment

A Double Dose of the Hatfields and McCoys

By Eric L. Taylor
Contributor, Checkerboard Chatter

(Author’s Note: CBC is obviously not a site that focuses on NFL football. There are UT fans who don’t care for the NFL and Titans fans who prefer the NFL over college football. However, this post is targeted at the many whose loyalties overlap the two entities that represent the Volunteer state.)

Merriam-Webster defines the word feud as a mutual enmity or quarrel that is often prolonged or inveterate. When looking at strong feuds through the lens of history, the stories are often enthralling tales that grow in intensity as the years pass by. Examples are plenty, but just to name a few….. Samson vs. the Philistines, Austin Idol vs. Jerry Lawler, and of course the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. Two of the aforementioned feuds led to death and destruction while the other led to a crushed set of balls (Austin Idol and Tommy “Wildfire” Rich racked “The King” on the ring post at the Mid-South Coliseum for all of you non-Memphis rasslin fans). Hate is a strong word that I don’t throw around lightly, but it can be applied in all three of the provided examples.

When football schedules are announced, most teams (college and NFL) can circle multiple “rivalry games” on the schedule. For example, Tennessee has historically strong rivalries with Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. On the NFL side for the Volunteer state, the Titans have forged strong rivalries with current divisional foes Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Houston. All of these match ups for both the Vols and Titans are surely strong rivalry games. While this is the case, there are those games in my opinion that are ratcheted up an extra notch. Those such games are “feud games”. I contend that the Vols and Titans are both matched up in their respective feud games this weekend.

The last twenty years or so of the UT vs. Florida feud has been heavily documented on our site as well as across the spectrum of print media, Internet, radio, TV and fan chatter. Florida has been the victor in the lion’s share of the contests, even winning all four battles during the Peyton Manning years. If you have forgotten that fact, just listen to Steve Spurrier talk for fifteen minutes. He’s bound to bring it up; in fact, I heard him reference “beating Peyton Manning four times” just last week. From a Volunteer fan’s perspective, there have been plenty of villains such as Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer and Jabar Gaffney. There have also been plenty of heroes such as Al Wilson, Tee Martin and James Wilhoit. The most triumphant moment for the heroes in orange came in ’98 when the Vols defeated #2 Florida 20-17 in OT. The Vols would go onto win the first BCS National Championship. I’ll never forget watching that Florida/UT game.

I have never witnessed a game in “The Swamp”. Even so, I have heard horror stories from UT fans who while wearing Big Orange in Gainesville during UT/Florida weekends have supposedly had urine thrown on them and gotten into fist fights. Tickets at restaurants are “lost” before food arrives at the table 45 minutes later, and cops aren’t exactly “Officer Friendly” types. The same type of shenanigans happen in Knoxville as well. I have seen Florida fans get doused with beer, and I was in Neyland Stadium when whiskey bottles were raining down on the field after the botched Palmer to Gaffney call. The officials had to run for cover to avoid being injured. Do I condone any of this fan behavior? No. Am I calling it like I see it? Yes. Are such stories an example of a rivalry or feud? I say feud.

While the Ravens/Titans feud has probably cooled a bit over the past few years, I would still venture to say that during the short history of the Oilers/Titans franchise in the city of Nashville, that pairing has been the strongest overall feud. (How bout that for a run-on sentence?) There have been villains such as Ray Lewis, Brian Billick and Ed Reed. There have also been heroes such as Eddie George, Frank Wycheck and Jeff Fisher. There have even been those who have lined up on both sides of the feud such as the late, great Steve McNair and Derrick Mason.

Much like the Gators/Vols, the NFL team from the Volunteer state has had its moments in the feud, but the nemesis (Ravens) typically gets the upper hand (in playoffs). You don’t have to look any further than the playoff game in January ’01 to see the Titans’ frustration. The 13-3 Titans had secured home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs but succumbed to “Ray Ray” and his renegade band of Ravens 24-10 in the Divisional Playoffs. Ray Lewis sealed this game with an interception returned for a touchdown after a McNair pass caromed off Eddie George and into the hands of Lewis. Titans fans had to endure a second home playoff loss to the Ravens after the ’08 season. This team, like the ’00 team was 13-3. The final score was 13-10 in favor of the Ravens, and three Titans turnovers were to blame.

The brightest spot for the Titans in this feud came in the “Charm City”, not Nashville. After the ’03 playoffs on January 3, 2004, the Titans gutted out a hard fought 20-17 win in the AFC Wild Card playoffs. The play that summed up the high feud level of this contest was a run by Eddie George where he planted Ray Lewis and then proceeded to get in Ray’s face to tell him all about it after the play was over. Like the final seconds of the Vols’ win over the Gators in ’98, I will never forget where I was when that play happened. That play is one that shows the level of this match up is a feud and not a rivalry.

Just like the UT and Florida fans, fans of the Ravens and Titans have had their share of run-ins. As referenced earlier, there have been three occasions where a team has won a playoff game on the opponent’s home field. These moments have led to some testy fan exchanges. Again, my contention, it’s a feud and not a rivalry.

How will this weekend play out? The Vols play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, and the Titans host the Ravens at LP Field on Sunday. Coach Dooley has the Vols on the rise with a potent offense and swagger not seen from a UT bunch in quite some time. This is the best chance the Vols have had vs. the Gators in years. The Titans, on the other hand, are rebuilding with new pieces at head coach, quarterback and both coordinator spots. Also, they have a rusty (not Smith) franchise running back in Chris Johnson. A win is unlikely, but you know the saying in the NFL….. “any given Sunday”. Where will I be this weekend? I’ll be in the stands at LP Field on Sunday. For all the UT fans making the trek to Gainesville, good luck avoiding the alleged urine filled “water balloons”. Only in a feud game…….

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Posted in Al Wilson, Eddie George, Eric L. Taylor, Gators, James Wilhoit, Jeff Fisher, Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis, Rivalries, Steve McNair, Steve Spurrier, Tee Martin, Tennessee Titans, Tennessee Volunteers | Leave a comment

Gameday Preview: Tennessee at Florida

The Essentials:
The 2-0 Tennessee Volunteers take on the 2-0 Florida Gators on Saturday in Gainesville. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 PM ET/2:30 PM CT. The game will be televised on CBS and can be heard throughout the state on the 68 affiliates of the Vol Radio Network. The game can be heard online anywhere in the world by clicking here.

The Opponent:
The 16th ranked Gators come in having beaten Florida Atlantic and UAB in convincing fashion. The combined score of those two games was 80-3. Florida has run the ball at will in the early going averaging 248.5 rushing yards per game. They have posted 7 rushing touchdowns.

Florida’s passing game has been slightly less impressive. Despite the less-than-premium competition, John Brantley has thrown only 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions over the course of the two games. He has completed 67.3 percent of his passes and is averaging 212 yards per game through the air. The Gators’ talented defense has posted 2 sacks and 5 pass break-ups to date.

What’s At Stake:
As is the norm in the last 20 years, the winner of this game will put themselves in a really nice position in the SEC East. Both teams still have to get through Georgia and South Carolina but the winner will join the Gamecocks as the early season favorites to make it to Atlanta.

It can be argued that there is even more on the line than just the 2011 divisional positioning that is at stake. Tennessee appears to be a program that is finally back on the rise. After a disappointing 2010 and a head coaching change, it is yet to be determined whether the Gators are still the premier football program in the East. Make no mistake, these two head coaches and these two programs are trying desperately to climb their way up the mountain towards SEC supremacy. Florida still has a shorter climb, but Derek Dooley and the Vols are doing all they can to make up ground. A win in Gainesville would not only set the Vols up for a strong 2011, it might set them up for a much more efficient rebuilding effort than many expected. A win for the Gators reassures their fans and players that it really is them and South Carolina who are the current kings of the SEC East.

There is a lot at stake on Saturday and the results could impact both programs for years to come.

Fun Facts From UTSports.com:
The Vols have only scored 30 or more points twice in the last ten meetings with Florida. Tennessee has won both times (2001, 2004).
This will be the 16th consecutive year that the Tennessee-Florida game has been televised by CBS.
Tennessee’s last win on the road against a ranked opponent came on October 7th, 2006 against the Georgia Bulldogs. Tennessee won 51-33.
A Tennessee win would give the Vols their first 3 game road winning streak (dating back to last season) since 2005-06.
Tennessee is playing in The Swamp as an undefeated team for the first time since 2003.

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Posted in Derek Dooley, Florida, Football, Gainesville, Gameday Preview, Gators, John Brantley, SEC, SEC East, Tennessee, The Swamp, Tyler Bray, Vols, Volunteers, Will Muschamp | Leave a comment

Friendly Foes Not the Norm in Tennessee-Florida Rivalry

By Derek Lusk
Founder, Checkerboard Chatter

The intensity of the Tennessee-Florida rivalry has really only picked up steam over the last 20 years. It’s not one of those crazy southern 100 year deals like Georgia-Auburn or Tennessee-Alabama.

There are a few factors that helped generate such a rivalry. The first, and most obvious, was that the SEC went to divisional play in 1992. Tennessee and Florida were both placed in the East and have been forced to play each other annually ever since. The other, and perhaps more important, factor was the rise of two national championship winning coaches at each respective program during that same time.

The Fulmer-Spurrier rivalry was well documented and is always referenced when these two teams get together. Fulmer’s 1992 win over Spurrier while he was interim coach during Johnny Majors’ medical leave certainly helped propel him into the head coaching position. Spurrier went on to go 7-3 against Fulmer in his tenure at Florida. He enraged Tennessee fans with his infamous quote, “You can’t spell Citrus without U-T.” He left after 2001, and the verbal jabs between head coaches essentially left with him.

Then 2009 came around. Urban Meyer had taken over in Gainesville in 2005 and promptly won national titles in ’06 and ’08. Tennessee had replaced Fulmer with Lane Kiffin. Kiffin made sure that it wasn’t long before the ghosts of Spurrier’s verbal barbs were roused once again. In his introductory press conference he referenced singing Rocky Top all night long after beating Meyer’s Gators. Later, in a violation of SEC bylaw 10.5.1, Kiffin told a group of fans on National Signing Day that Meyer had cheated during his recruitment of Nu’Keese Richardson. Of course, Meyer had not cheated and Kiffin was forced to issue a public apology. But it wasn’t over then. After Florida’s 23-13 win over Kiffin’s Vols in 2009, Meyer accused Tennessee of not playing to win, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. Urban also expressed concern that some of his players might have the swine flu. In response, Kiffin told reporters, “I guess we’ll wait and after we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.” The hate between head coaches was full steam ahead.

Where were you when you found out Lane Kiffin was leaving the University of Tennessee? You probably know where Urban Meyer was. He was at a University of Florida basketball game. The smirk on his face as he read his smartphone was priceless. Young Lane had fled the competition.

It’s 2011 and Urban Meyer is interviewing quarterbacks for ESPN, and Lane Kiffin is busy executing narrow escapes against the likes of Minnesota and Utah at his dream job, USC. Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp are trying to rebuild two very proud programs. It could be said that Muschamp’s job is a little easier considering the talent on his roster and the more recent success of his Gators. Both men have lots to prove, but don’t expect any Spurrier-Fulmer or Kiffin-Meyer type cheap shots. These two guys will stay above board.

Other than the fact that Dooley and Muschamp don’t come across as guys who would kick up dust in the media, they won’t be criticizing one another because they are long-time co-workers and very good friends. The two men cut their proverbial teeth in the coaching ranks under the watchful eye of Nicholas Lou Saban. Dooley and Muschamp worked for Saban both at LSU and then in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins. Muschamp left for Auburn and then went on to coordinate the defense of the Texas Longhorns. Derek Dooley took over the reins at Louisiana Tech as head football coach and athletic director.

These two meet this week as Dooley’s Vols travel to Gainesville to take on Muschamp’s Gators. They have both been asked about their relationship and its role in the rivalry.

Dooley told reporters, “He is going to want to whip me pretty good, and I’m going to want to whip him pretty good. That’s how it goes.” Dooley continued by saying, “Will is a Georgia guy like me. We had a lot of mutual friends even before he and I became friends, and of course our first time working together was in 2001 at LSU, and we had a lot of success there the four years we were there together. We had a good run there and went to the Dolphins together. Like any assistant coaches, we were both coming up through the ranks as young coaches at that time so we had a lot in common and developed a relationship. He left a year early to go to Auburn, he left Miami and that was the extent of it. We stayed in touch, and we talked quite a bit when he was at Texas and I was at Louisiana Tech, and even last year we stayed in touch.”

Muschamp seemed less forthcoming but had this to say when asked about Dooley, “You’d rather not (play against a friend). The bottom line on Saturday is that he’s going to do the best job he can for his team, and I am for mine.”

While these two competitors will likely have more nice things to say about each another in the coming years, make no mistake, these two guys want to win just as badly as Spurrier, Fulmer, Kiffin, or Meyer. There may be less headline fodder, but that doesn’t mean this rivalry is any less intense.

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Posted in Derek Dooley, Derek Lusk, Florida, Football, Gators, Lane Kiffin, Phil Fulmer, SEC, SEC East, Steve Spurrier, Tennessee, Urban Meyer, Vols, Volunteers, Will Muschamp | Leave a comment

Big Orange Dose of Reality

By Derek Lusk
Founder, Checkerboard Chatter

I have had the chance to talk with many Vol fans and have interacted with many of you on Twitter and Facebook over the last few days. One thing seems certain, everyone is excited about the big win over Cincinnati. You should be. The Vols looked great. The offense was overwhelming, and the defense, after a shaky start, held the Bearcats to 9 points over the last three quarters. It was a great day to be a Vol. I’m still not exactly sure just how good Tennessee is, but I do know this, we’ll all find out where we stand this Saturday in Gainesville.

Tyler Bray has experienced a historic beginning to his young career. His performance last Saturday was his best to date. Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter look like NFL superstars in the making, and the running game showed signs of life against the Bearcats. Derek Dooley has shown leadership and courage in his first 15 games as Tennessee’s head man, including his gutsy onside kick in the first quarter last week. Tennessee seems to have momentum heading back in its direction after, what seems like, an eternity of bad breaks. It’s all good news for the Tennessee faithful.

I would be confident that the good news would keep coming if Tennessee looked at its schedule and saw Memphis, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Montana, and Cincinnati remaining. Let’s keep in mind that while the Vols’ offense has been tremendous, it can be argued that the wins over the last six opponents have been relatively unchallenging.

Let’s not deem the Tennessee rebuilding project complete just yet. There is a lot of football left to play, and I assure you, there won’t be a mid-tier Big East opponent taking the field in the Swamp.

Tennessee and Florida have met every year since 1990, and the Gators own a commanding 15-6 record in that span. Florida has a history of bringing the Vols down to earth when everything around the Tennessee program seems so positive.

Remember 1993 when Tennessee had a Heisman Trophy contender in Heath Shuler and Florida had a freshman quarterback named Danny Wuerffel? Tennessee was coming off a 38-6 massacre of the Georgia Bulldogs, and people on Rocky Top were talking national title. Florida won that game 41-34

Remember 1995 when a sophomore named Peyton Manning had helped lead the Vols to a comfortable 30-14 margin over the Gators? Florida proceeded to score 48 straight and beat Tennessee 62-37.

Remember 1999 when the Vols were defending national champs and were riding high into the swamp on the backs of a 14 game winning streak? Alex Brown made himself a Gators’ legend that day by recording 5 sacks, and Florida beat the Vols 23-21.

Remember 2006 when Tennessee was coming off a convincing win against 12th ranked Cal and then led the Gators 17-7 at halftime? Dallas Baker scored 2 second half touchdowns, and Florida beat Tennessee 21-20 on their way to a BCS National Championship.

Of course Tennessee has had its share of great wins over Florida too, including the 1998 win during the national championship year, the win in 2001 that took place in December because of September 11th, and the back to back wins in ’03 and ’04.

Tennessee could win Saturday. For the first time in a few years, this outcome won’t be decided before the kickoff takes place. Florida will have to play really well to win. They will need to get pressure on Tyler Bray and cover well in the secondary if they hope to slow down Tennessee’s impressive offense. It should be a great game.

Perhaps more importantly, whether the Vols win or lose they will certainly learn a lot about themselves and the status of their program here in Derek Dooley’s second year. Since 2007 these two programs have continued to grow farther apart with Florida ascending to the top of the college football world and Tennessee descending to the middle of the SEC East. The scores are indicative of that trend. In the four meetings since ’07 the Gators are 4-0 and have beaten the Vols by a combined score of 143-56. Despite an 8-5 record in 2010, Florida is still the program by which other SEC East teams measure themselves.

If the Vols were to pull one out in Gainesville on Saturday then it will be a testament to the great job that Derek Dooley has done in closing the gap on a Florida program that seemed light years ahead just a few short years ago. No one knows what will happen. That’s why we play the games. No matter what the result, though, Tennessee will get to see how far the program has come and, perhaps, how far it still needs to go to get back to the top of the eastern division in the SEC.

It will be a refreshing dose of reality, regardless of the outcome.

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Posted in Derek Dooley, Derek Lusk, Florida, Football, Gators, Phil Fulmer, SEC, SEC East, Steve Spurrier, Tennessee, Urban Meyer, Vols, Volunteers | 3 Comments

CBC SEC Pick ’em – Week 3

Our heated battle of SEC predictions continues this week here on Checkerboard Chatter. Eric remains in the lead with an overall record of 21-1 while Derek has come roaring into second place with a 19-3 mark. Drew and Michael are tied at 18-4. Check out the guys’ picks this week including who everyone thinks will win the rivalry game between the Vols and Gators.

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“Puckered Up” Over Florida Week

By Randy Smith
Guest Blogger

As Tennessee prepares to play the Florida Gators in the Swamp this weekend, my thoughts go back a few years. Back to when this game really meant something in the SEC East and even in the national picture. When Steve Spurrier coached the Gators and Phillip Fulmer guided the Vols, this game was the one fans from both teams would talk about from the pre-season until game time. It was quite simply the biggest game of the year, played in the third week of the season. The winner got a big jump on the other as far as the SEC East title chase went. And for the loser, most often Tennessee, to advance to the SEC Championship Game, would require help from someone else in the league.

Coach Fulmer used an expression that caught on quickly with the media. Puckered up. “There’s no need to get all puckered up when we play Florida.” There were other ways to describe it, even some that do not need to be printed. But we all knew what he meant. It’s really hard to play well against a good team when a part of your body is all “puckered up.” Every time when Florida week came around, fans, coaches and players seemed to be “really uptight” about facing the Gators. Coach Fulmer was just 2-5 in his first seven meetings with Florida and the Vols needed a thrilling 20-17 overtime win in the famous, “pandemonium reigns” game in 1998 on their way to the National Championship. “Puckered up” or not, Fulmer was just 4-12 in his career against the Gators.

Which brings us to the 2011 meeting in Gainesville. Steve Spurrier no longer prowls the sideline in the Swamp. And Derek Dooley now leads the Volunteers. Will Muschamp is now the head coach at Florida and while both teams are 2-0 going into kickoff, neither has played a really quality opponent as yet. Big Orange faithful are anxious to see if Tennessee’s passing game is for real after more than 700 yards and 7 touchdown passes in wins over Montana and Cincinnati. The winner gets a chance to challenge South Carolina for the SEC East title while the loser will fight Georgia for third place. (Sorry Dawg fans) While it’s not the game it used to be, it is still a big early season SEC contest. And for the first time in years, I believe Tennessee has a real shot at winning. Unless they get all “puckered up.”

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Posted in Derek Dooley, Football, Gain, Guest Blog, Phil Fulmer, Randy Smith, Rocky Top, SEC, SEC East, Steve Spurrier, Tennessee, Vols, Volunteers, Will Muschamp | 1 Comment

Give Him 6! Gators Wear Jorts Edition

Here are 6 links of interest for fans of the Tennessee Volunteers. Give Him 6! is a weekly feature here on Checkerboard Chatter. We try to put links to 6 articles or blogs that you will find informative and interesting. If you ever have suggestions for the weekly Give Him 6! just let us know.

1. Here is an injury update on a couple of Florida’s key players including speed-burner Jeff Demps. Looks like he’ll be back just in time to take on the Vols. Rachel George of the Orlando Sentinel has all the info.
RB Jeff Demps, TE Jordan Reed expected to return vs. Tennessee

2. Jeff Barlis of The Gainesville Sun does a good job of detailing the relationship between Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp. Interesting quotes and more.
Dooley vs. Muschamp

3. The St. Petersburg Times published this piece by Antonya English that deals with the fact that Florida is facing its largest test of the season, whether or not they are willing to admit it.
Florida Gators reluctantly admit it: Tennessee Vols present a big game

4. Austin Ward of The Knoxville News Sentinel writes that the Vols realize the importance of Saturday’s game in Gainesville.
Vols are aware of streak, stakes against Gators

5. Is the Tennessee-Florida game the most important September match-up in the country like it once was? No, but Steve Eubanks of Fox Sports Tennessee writes that this game is going to be a marquee match-up on Saturday.
Tennessee vs. Florida a marquee matchup again

6. Patrick Brown (one of the most frequently linked writers in our Give Him 6! posts) of The Chattanooga Times Free Press writes that Derek Dooley and the defense aren’t exactly sure what to expect with Florida’s new pro-style offense.
Vols defenders see Gators as mystery

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Posted in Derek Dooley, Florida, Football, Gators, Give Him 6, Jeff Demps, SEC, SEC East, Tennessee, Tyler Bray, Vols, Volunteers, Will Muschamp | Leave a comment