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Tennessee football faces tough test against Florida rushing attack

The Gators rank second in the nation in rushing yards per game.
Credit: AP
Tennessee defensive lineman Ja'Quain Blakely (48) plays against Tennessee Tech during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 56-0. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football has quite the uphill battle to upset rivals 11th-ranked Florida, while on the road on Saturday.

The Vols will have to be on their A-game in every facet of the game. One area will determine if Tennessee can limit Florida from scoring. The matchup is their rushing defense versus Florida's rushing defense.

FLORIDA'S RUSHING ATTACK

The Gators boast the second-best rushing offense in the nation at 335.7 yards per game on the ground according to ESPN.

Last week against top-ranked Alabama, Florida went off for 245 rushing yards in a near-upset.

Many different players get into the rushing action. Five players have over 10 carries through three games this season and all of them have topped 100 yards. Three of them have over 200 yards, with some closing in on 300 yards.

The two top rushers are Florida's two quarterbacks Anthony Richardson and Emory Jones. They have rushed for 275 yards on 11 carries and 231 yards on 42 carries, respectively. Richardson did not play due to an injury last weekend and his status is questionable against Tennessee.

Running back Malik Davis is the other 200-yard rusher for the Gators.

Florida has scored 15 total touchdowns this season, 11 of them have come on the ground.

TENNESSEE'S RUSHING DEFENSE

The Vols face quite the test, but they too have proven they can bulk up against the run.

Tennessee is ranked fifth in the nation, according to ESPN, in rushing yards allowed per game (54.3).

However, Tennessee hasn't played a good rush offense this season. Bowling Green ranks 129 out of 130 FBS teams in rushing yards per game Pittsburgh ranks 88th.

Tennessee Tech is an FCS school, so they aren't on that list, but don't rank in the top 50 among FCS schools according to NCAA.com.

The good news is the Vols have handled their business against teams they were supposed to handle their business against. Now we will see what they do against an elite rushing attack.

GAME INFO

Tennessee will play Florida on the road. That game is at 7 p.m. on Saturday and will be broadcast on ESPN.