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Florida preparing to face veteran, fast-paced Tennessee team

After an excellent start to the Billy Napier era in Week 1, the Florida Gators received a reality check from Kentucky in Week 2 and narrowly escaped USF at home in Week 3. Now it’s time for UF’s first road test and it comes against another SEC East foe, the Tennessee Volunteers, on Saturday, September 24.

Napier knows how tough it will be to beat UT in his first year as the head coach at Florida, but it’s a challenge he’s excited to take on. The first step is figuring out the opponent’s strengths, and Tennessee has a lot of them.

“Tennessee’s got a good football team,” Napier said during his Monday media availability. “You can see where coach (Josh) Heupel and his staff have improved in their time there. A lot cleaner product in all three areas of their team on film. Much cleaner football on offense, defense and special teams maybe compared to last year. This is a veteran team that we’re playing against, starting with the quarterback on offense and a number of players on defense that have played a lot of football.

“They’re a deep team. They play a lot of players, especially on the defensive side, and I do think they do good a job in the kicking game. So, got to got play at their place. Very familiar with Knoxville and certainly the challenges that come with that. So, a good football team, it’s going to be a challenge and we look forward and embrace that.”

Singling out quarterback Hendon Hooker isn’t surprising. He’s fourth in the SEC in passing yards, has a 6:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and is third in the conference in quarterback rating. Hooker is the leader of a well-oiled machine that likes to operate at a fast pace.

When asked about slowing down the tempo of Tennessee’s offense, Napier admitted that there are ways to do that with both offense and defense. The biggest key for…


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Author : Gators Wire

Publish date : 2022-09-20 20:49:42

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