Two Minute Drill: Tennessee is out of excuses, must win against Florida
This is the last chance for Tennessee. If the Volunteers are ever going to snap their nine-game losing streak to Florida, it has to happen today.
Today’s game marks the first time in recent memory that both teams enter in their current respective states. Tennessee is a team on the rise that makes up for inexperience with natural talent and speed. Florida continues to see a regression under head coach Will Muschamp and, pending another poor finish, will likely pull the plug on the coach this offseason.
Justin Worley looks to become the quarterback that did what others couldn’t. Four quarterbacks have tried since Erik Ainge’s freshman upset of Florida in 2004 and all have failed. Even Peyton Manning was 0-4 against the Gators from 1994-97. There’s just that mystique of playing Florida that seems to bring out the worst in Tennessee.
But in 2014, there’s no excuses. The Vols are all-in this week and have the perfect opportunity to exit the annual matchup with a victory. This isn’t the Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer or Chris Leak Gators of recent memory. This is Jeff Driskel and a team of players who have yet to live up to lofty expectations.
Today’s game is a must win for Tennessee, not only in regards to snapping Florida’s winning streak, but also because it may be one of the few winnable games remaining. With a tough schedule ahead, the team’s psyche must stay positive moving forward. If Tennessee exits Saturday’s game with a win, it has momentum and a winning record heading into several tough toss up games.
The Vols need four more wins to become bowl eligible for the first time in several years. They are expected to win against Chattanooga, Vanderbilt and Kentucky (which becomes less of a guarantee each week based on the Wildcats’ play). A win over Florida would guide Tennessee on the path to bowl eligibility and keep them in contention in a wide open SEC East, expectations that seemed doubtful to many entering the season.