Tennessee at Florida is the Capital One Bowl Game of the Week

This season, pick who you think will win the Capital One Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Capital One Bowl Facebook page before Saturday’s game. If you pick correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Capital One Bowl on January 2, 2012!

Florida leads series, 21-19 (last meeting: Sept. 18, 2010: Florida 21, Tennessee 17)

The Tennessee Volunteers visit the Swamp for the Southeastern Conference opener against the No. 17 Florida Gators this weekend. Both teams enter week three undefeated after impressive performances against nonconference opponents.

The Volunteers’ offense started the season off firing on all cylinders with sophomore Tyler Bray at quarterback. Bray leads the conference in total offense (342 ypg) and highest passing efficiency (204.2). He earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors after the Vols 45-23 win over Cincinnati, where he connected for a career-best and school record of 34 passes in 41 attempts. The Kingsburg, Calif., native became the second quarterback in Tennessee history, behind NFL great Peyton Manning, to throw for more than 400 yards in a single game. He also set a passing record of 698 yards in the first two games– eclipsing Manning’s previous mark of 651 in 1997. Bray’s success weighs heavily on sophomores Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter, the first twosome in Tennessee history to each log 10 catches in the same contest with back-to-back 100-yard games.

After shedding their five-game losing streak against nonconference opponents, the Vols enter week three with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2006. Their offensive energy will be essential against a tough Gator defense. The Gators’ aggressive defense led them to their first shutout in six seasons against the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers last weekend. Florida also allowed only three points against Florida Atlantic in the season opener, the least the team has given up in the first two weeks since 1933. They currently lead the nation in points allowed.

The Gators are steered by one of the best defensive minds in college football, Will Muschamp, who enters the weekend seeking his first SEC victory as a head coach. Offensively, Gators look to fifth-year senior running back Chris Rainey to continue his strong start this season after posting 119 yards for 16 carries and three catches for 43 yards, earning his third career 100-yard rushing game.

Both Muschamp and Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley coached under Nick Saban while at LSU for the 2001-2004 seasons before following him to the Miami Dolphins in 2005. The two will put their friendship aside as they faceoff for the first time as college head coaches.

Extra point: Will Muschamp enters his 13th season working in some capacity in the SEC, serving eight years as a coach at Auburn (1995-1996, 2006-2007) and LSU (2001-2004) and four years as a player for Georgia. He has faced the Volunteers four times total and has not beaten them yet.

Expert Picks

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: Florida
Season Record: 0-0
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Florida
Season Record: 0-0
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: Florida
Season Record: 0-0
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Florida
Season Record: 0-0
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