Published September 14, 2012 - 6:45pm
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For the first time in a long time Florida heads into its matchup with Tennessee as the underdog, even though they are ranked higher in both major polls. One of the biggest reasons why the Volunteers are favored going into Saturday is their impressive passing game.
The Vols have been lighting it up through the air this season and have really impressed the nation by taking some big state schools to the woodshed.
The defensive powerhouses that are N.C. State and Georgia State never really stood a chance against Tennessee’s high-flying offense, did they?
A different kind of defense descends upon Rocky Top this Saturday, a defense with size, speed, experience and a whole lot of depth.
The sea of Orange and White that will greet this defense on Saturday is going to be feeling confident about their chances, especially when their offense takes the field.
They should feel confident, their quarterback, Tyler Bray, has been putting up big numbers his entire career.
He boasts a 60% completion rate to go along with 248.6 yards, 2.3 touchdowns and 0.9 interceptions per game over his career. His win-loss record over that time is 10-2.
Shaking in your boots yet, Gators?
Oh, I guess here is where I should mention that those numbers are only against teams with total defenses ranked 26th and worse.
His career numbers against defenses ranked in the top 25?
A 52% completion rate, 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception per game; his record in those games is 1-5, including a loss to the 8th ranked Gator defense.
Not exactly Peyton Manning quality, well, except for the whole losing to Florida thing.
Just for comparison, N.C. State’s defense who returned four starters, three seniors and one junior, from its 2011 defensive backfield was ranked 41st in total defense last season.
The kid is a good quarterback, don’t get me wrong, he’s 6’6” with a cannon on his shoulder and he’s throwing the ball to two very talented wide receivers who can score a touchdown on any play.
But to be a great quarterback you have to shine on the biggest of stages and his numbers have shown that he’s done the opposite of that.
On Saturday all eyes will be on Neyland Stadium; will Bray finally show that he can take the next step or will it be eight in a row for the Gators?