The buildup is a big as ever this week as the unranked Tennessee Volunteers prepares to host No. 4 Florida in a pivotal Southeastern Conference Eastern Division showdown at Neyland Stadium Saturday (3:30 p.m. kickoff on CBS)

The Vols are coming off a 35-3 victory over Alabama-Birmingham last Saturday in the home opener. The Gators, who whipped UT, 59-20, last year in Gainesville had an open date last week.

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said the Vols are chomping at the bit to prove to a Nationally televised audience they can play with the Gators.

“You could feel the anticipation leading up to this football game, starting on Sunday when we did the corrections from the UAB game and got right into to the Florida game,” said Fulmer. “Our guys have shown focus; they’ve been around the office watching a lot of tape on their own. That was good to see.”

After a disappointing season-opening overtime loss at UCLA, Fulmer said he saw some improvement in last week’s win over an outmanned UAB squad. He said it’s crucial the Vols continue to improve with the high-octane Gators coming to town.
“Our continued improvement is very important,” commented Fulmer. “ I’m not going to let go of the fact that we did not play well in the first ball game and we were our own worst enemies.

“That’s something that our team has to continue to focus on and correct,” the Vols coach continued. “I do think we’ve made some strides in that direction. You certainly have to avoid losing before you can win a football game, in particular when you’re playing a team like Florida.”

The Vols defense had four interceptions in the first half against UCLA and had three more picks last week while holding UAB without a touchdown. Fulmer said the spread offense ran by UAB has similarities, scheme-wise, to the Gators high-flying offense.

“We made strides in the last ballgame to build on,” said Fulmer. “Keeping them out of the end zone was a real plus. Going against similar styles, we should have some carry over there from a defensive standpoint that will help us as we start our week of preparation.”
With wins already over Hawaii and Miami (Fla.), the Gators enter the game as 7 ½ point favorites. Fulmer said containing Heisman Trophy-winning Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be the key to hanging with the talented Gators Saturday.
“If you look at Florida, they’re a huge challenge personnel-wise,” Fulmer observed. “They do an outstanding job recruiting. Tim Tebow is a returning Heisman winner, and that’s no accident. He makes them go. He does a fantastic job of running the offense, but he’s most dangerous when things break down and he’s out there making a play running the ball or throwing the ball. He’s tough.”
A win Saturday would more than make up for the Vols’ tough start against UCLA and would give UT an early advantage in the race for the Eastern Division title. The Vols’ coach said games like this is what it’s all about.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Fulmer stated. “When you look at the opportunity out there to start off with a big SEC game this early in the year, I think we’ll find out a lot about ourselves and our football team as we go through this week.”


Vols advance in AT&T Greatest Teams Tournament
The Southeastern Conference has produced some of the most prolific teams in the history of college football, and now fans can voice their opinions on the best of all time.

It’s all a part of AT&T’s “All-Time Greatest Team Tournament,” a 10-week program available through SEC Mobile, a portal accessible via AT&T handsets that allows fans to vote in a playoff-style competition where they choose the greatest teams to hit the gridiron. Entering the interactive portal, which allows fans instant access to the school and team they love, is as easy as texting SEC to 567890 from an AT&T handset.
The teams that fans advanced this week are as follows:
1992 University of Alabama. Competing against four nationally-ranked teams, including No. 1 Miami in the Sugar Bowl, Alabama went undefeated in 1992. The team held opponents to just nine points per game and featured six future NFL players. 1962 University of Mississippi. Ole Miss featured a defense that never gave up a touchdown the entire regular season in 1962. The offense averaged 24.7 points per game and defeated two ranked teams on their way to the No. 3 rank in the AP Poll. 1998 University of Tennessee. Tennessee went undefeated and were crowned National Champions after beating five nationally-ranked teams and averaging 33 points per game on offense. In addition, six players were drafted in the 1999 NFL Draft. 2003 Louisiana State University. The Tigers averaged 34 points per game while en route to a 13-1 season which culminated in the BCS National Championship. The defense only gave up 20-plus points one time during the season and seven players were drafted into the NFL.
SEC Mobile allows fans to choose from the 32 most-accomplished in SEC football history. The teams “playing” each other span all the way back to University of Tennessee’s 1938 squad and are as recent as the 2007 National Champions, LSU and includes the best teams in the SEC between those years. Fans get to decide who would win if the two teams were to face off today.
Fans can check out the latest seeded matchups online at www.mysecmobile.com and then vote via an AT&T handset. In addition, each week, AT&T will post the SEC Matchup Challenge, which will challenge fans to test their SEC knowledge to correctly pick the winner of each week’s SEC matchups. Fans can also test their SEC history and team knowledge by participating in the weekly SEC Trivia, with five questions per week.
Week Two’s matchups are as follows:

’80 Georgia vs. ’55 Vanderbilt
’58 LSU vs. ’42 Georgia
’06 Florida vs. ’83 Auburn
’73 Alabama vs. ’50 Kentucky


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