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Associated Press Published: September 13, 2012
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SATURDAY

No. 18 Florida (2-0, 1-0 SEC) vs. No. 23 Tennessee (2-0, 0-0), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Tennessee by 3.

Series Record: Florida leads 22-19.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Both teams are seeking to prove they've rebounded after delivering disappointing results in recent seasons. Tennessee went 1-7 in SEC competition last season and has posted losing records in each of Derek Dooley's two seasons. Florida went 7-6 last season in Will Muschamp's first year for its lowest win total since 2004. Both teams have shown evidence of turning the corner by winning their first two games this season. The winner has reason to believe it can contend for an East Division title.

KEY MATCHUP

Tennessee's passing offense vs. Florida's pass defense: Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray has completed 73.8 percent of his passes for 643 yards and six touchdowns without an interception. He benefits from a dynamic receiving corps that features two of the SEC's top playmakers in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Hunter leads the SEC with 17 catches and ranks second in the conference with 219 receiving yards. Patterson leads the SEC with 360 all-purpose yards. Florida is one of only 10 teams in the nation that have played two games this season without allowing a touchdown pass.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida: RB Mike Gillislee: Although Gillislee injured his groin last week in Florida's 20-17 victory at Texas A&M, Coach Will Muschamp has said Gillislee should be fine for Saturday's game. Gillislee leads the SEC with 231 rushing yards and averages 6.1 yards per carry. The team that rushes for the most yards historically has dominated this series, so Gillislee's health is a major factor.

Tennessee: WR Hunter: He was leading the SEC in receiving through the first two games of the 2011 season before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last September in a 33-23 loss to Florida. He is back at 100 percent now and has tied Johnny Mills' 46-year-old school record for most catches through the first two games of a season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Florida has beaten Tennessee seven consecutive times, which represents the Gators' longest winning streak in the history of this rivalry. ... This marks the first Florida-Tennessee game since 2007 in which both teams are ranked. ... Tennessee is ranked for the first time since the 2008 preseason poll. ... Florida coach Will Muschamp and Tennessee coach Derek Dooley worked together on Nick Saban's staffs at LSU (2001-04) and with the NFL's Miami Dolphins (2005). ... Florida's victory over Texas A&M last week marked the first time the Gators have won a game under Muschamp after trailing at halftime. The Gators were 0-5 in those situations last year. ... Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb) and cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) will miss Saturday's game, while safety De'Ante Saunders is returning from a two-game suspension. ... Tennessee linebackers Herman Lathers (shoulder) and Curt Maggitt (toe) are questionable after sitting out the victory over Georgia State last week.


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