College GameDay is in Knoxville this week for a heated, top-25 contest between the Gators and Vols. Tennessee has lost 11 games in a row to Florida, so many are hoping this is the year the streak ends. There was a media availability on Friday to meet with some of the Game Day personalities including Rece Davis, David Pollack and Desmond Howard.
“This game is good for college football,” said Davis. “There is a heavy emphasis on the streak and how much it means not just for fans but also for the coaches and players. You really know deep in your gut that this is no other ordinary game.”
The Vols are a 6.5-point favorite according to Vegas, but according to Desmond Howard, that doesn’t really matter in rivalry games like this one. “I don’t believe that stuff works.” Howard mentioned the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry and that in games like that, anything can happen.
The Gators lost Luke Del Rio last week due to an MCL sprain against North Texas. Purdue transfer Austin Appleby will be making his first start as a Gator against the Vols in Neyland. “It was a tremendous blow that Luke Del Rio got hurt. Appleby is a huge question mark right now,” said Pollack.
On defense, Pollack was very high on the Gators. “They can rush the passer,” Pollack said. “Every play last week against North Texas, almost every play the quarterback was getting smashed or hurried. Josh Dobbs is going to have to tuck it 20 plus times.”
There are many implications riding on this game, not only for Tennessee’s future, but also for the SEC East.
“I think it’s special when the powers are as they should be,” added Davis. “It’s healthy for college football to have Tennessee back in the mix.”
College Game Day will be live Saturday morning at Ayres Hall from 9-12. Kickoff is at 3:30 with coverage from CBS.