Tennessee opens its SEC schedule Saturday night with a tough road test at No. 11 Florida.

Volunteers coach Josh Heupel, along with the rest of the country, saw just how good the Gators are this past Saturday, as they nearly upset top-ranked Alabama.

What impressed Heupel most about Florida?

“Their fight,” said Heupel on Wednesday during the weekly SEC coaches teleconference. “I mean, they were down early in that game a week ago. … They continued to compete and kept their composure and just chipped away at it.”

The Volunteers, meanwhile, are coming off a 56-0 win against Tennessee Tech last Saturday, a game that allowed some new faces to make quality contributions.

One of those players was freshman wide receiver Walker Merrill.

The 6-1, 190-pounder from Brentwood, Tennessee caught 4 passes for 40 yards in the game and impressed his head coach.

“Walker had a great spring as a true freshman,” Heupel said. “… Really got healthy right before training camp. … Had some opportunities last week to get the ball in his hands. … He did a good job in our pass games of reading zones and man and being in the right spot … He’s going to continue to grow.”

Also on Wednesday, Heupel was asked for an update on injured quarterback Joe Milton and the status of the QB position heading into Saturday’s trip to the Swamp.

Heupel, however, had little to say on the matter, although he said he is looking to limit the number of turnovers coming from the quarterback slot.

“No update at this point (on Milton),” Heupel said. “That room, there’s positives on all those guys on things they’ve done. … First and foremost, we have to take better care of the ball at that position. That’s where our turnovers have come on that side of the ball.”