(Picture from Google images)
It’s the third Saturday in September. Every year, this day makes me apprehensive. It is the one game of the year Vol Nation wants to win the most. The rivalry between The University of Tennessee and the University of Florida is played on the third Saturday of September. This has been a tradition since 1992 between the two SEC east storied programs. (In 2001, 9/11 moved the game to December and in 2014 when the SEC added teams it pushed the game to October.) This rivalry opens the season with conference competition. This game sets the tone for the season.
Before there was Alabama vs. LSU, there was huge national attention on Tennessee vs. Florida. (Yes, Tennessee fans love to live in the past when it comes to football. Memories; it’s all we have had the past two decades.) Tennessee and Florida have met 48 times since 1916 where Florida currently leads the rivalry 28-20.
Tennessee has had a way of making a terrible Florida team look really good. In 2005, Florida started an 11-game win streak against the Vols. It was flat out embarrassing! But I was at Neyland Stadium in 2016 when the Vols finally ended the streak and beat Florida by ten points to prove that ducks can pull trucks. (Thank you, Oregon Ducks for having our back too!)
Last Saturday, the Gators QB, Feleipe Franks, dislocated and fractured his ankle against Kentucky. He will miss the rest of the season. Not even Tennessee fans wish that kind of injury on Gators. But, this doesn’t mean anything for the University of Tennessee. We still have Jarrett Guarantano as our QB. (I’m sure he is a nice kid, but nice doesn’t make up for all of the losses on the field.) Guarantano got off of Twitter at the end of August. His twitter escape was most likely so he wouldn’t see the repeated comments about how much he sucks on the field. JG did sign back on to Twitter to ask for prayers for Franks and his family after the injury. It was a classy move QB-to-QB. Again, I’m judging JG on his wins & losses.
The reality is that Guarantano hasn’t faced an SEC rival this season. He hasn’t even faced a really good team and he is 1-2 AT HOME! The Gators are currently ranked 9th in that country. Since the SEC split into two divisions (East & West) in 1992, the Vols have only beat the Gators six, ONLY SIX, times and Florida was not even ranked during any of those six wins. The game is in the Swamp and rumor has it that Florida plans to play both of their back-up quarterbacks.
Guarantano threw three touchdowns in one game (against Chattanooga) for the first time is his career. That’s not a reason to puff out your chest in the SEC. JG said after the 45-0 win over Chattanooga he was starting to feel like himself again. Am I the only one who is scared of this? JG, please explain! He is 9-15 at UT. JG, what does “feel like yourself” mean? I’m listening….
Gosh, I hope I am wrong. I hope this team walks into to the Swamp and takes down the Gators. If JG can pull it off, I’ll take back all the trash I’ve talked about him. Just kidding, I won’t, but I’ll stop saying he’s trash.
Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope your Monarchs will beat UVA this Saturday!