GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 18 Florida plays at No. 23 Tennessee on Saturday, with a very early lead in the SEC's Eastern Division on the line. The Gators (2-0, 1-0 SEC) have won seven in a row in the series, which includes three victories in Knoxville. It's the first time since 2007 that both teams come into the game ranked.
Here's five storylines for the game:
1. Run game is key: The team that has run for more yardage has won 20 of the last 22 meetings (2000 and 2002 were the exceptions), and UF has outrushed UT by an average of 154.7 yards to 46.4 during the Gators' seven-game win streak. Both teams have run the ball well through the first two weeks of the season. Tennessee is averaging 187.5 yards per game while Florida is averaging 181.0 yards per game. Florida RB Mike Gillislee is the SEC's leading rusher (231 yards) but he's dealing with a groin injury, although he practiced this week and UF coach Will Muschamp said Gillislee would be fine. UT is getting good production out of Rajion Neal (118 yards) and Marlin Lane (106 yards).
2. Make UT QB Tyler Bray uncomfortable: Bray leads the SEC in passing (643 yards) and TD passes (six) and he has completed 64 percent of his passes in victories against N.C. State and Georgia State. Bray averages 298 yards passing per game in his 14 career starts. He's going to get yards, but UF has to knock him off his rhythm, either by getting pressure in his face and forcing him to move out of the pocket or by hitting him over and over. If he's able to stand back in the pocket and survey the field, he'll pick the Gators apart.
3. Make a play in the passing game: UF is averaging only 155.0 yards per game passing. But the Gators have made a big play in each game -- Frankie Hammond's 50-yard catch-and-run for a TD against Bowling Green and Jeff Driskel's 39-yard pass to Omarius Hines to set up the game-winning touchdown against Texas A&M. The Gators need to make at least one big play in the passing game against the Vols to keep the defense from packing the line of scrimmage.
4. Force a turnover: That was a major emphasis for Florida throughout preseason practices, yet the Gators have just one through two games. It's too much to expect UF's offense to put together three or four 70- or 80-yard touchdown drives, especially if Gillislee is banged up. Getting a short field because of a turnover would be an immense help. If the Gators are able to pressure Bray and force him into bad throws, they'll have a chance for an interception or two because CBs Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy and Jaylen Watkins are physical players and a good matchup for UT's big receivers: 6-foot-4 Justin Hunter and 6-3 Cordarrelle Patterson.
5. Make Driskel win the game with his arm: Driskel has been solid so far this season, completing 71.9 percent of his passes for one TD and no interceptions. But he has thrown the ball only 32 times and, like all young QBs, has shown a penchant for holding onto the ball too long and taking needless sacks. UT needs to make the Gators' one-dimensional by shutting down the run and putting the game in Driskel's hands. He's not ready to do that yet, especially with UF's lack of playmakers at receiver.