Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel, front left, watches play during...

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel, front left, watches play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Austin Peay, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Knoxville, Tenn. Credit: AP/Wade Payne

No. 11 Tennessee (2-0) at Florida (1-1), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).

Line: Tennessee by 6 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Florida leads 31-21, having won 16 of the last 18.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Volunteers are trying to end two decades of futility in Gainesville. They last won at Florida Field in 2003. The nine-game skid in the Swamp includes late collapses in 2015 and 2017 on 63-yard touchdown passes — one with a little more than a minute to play and the second on the final snap. Florida’s Billy Napier is 0-4 in rivalry games, becoming the first coach in school history to lose to Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and Florida State in the same season.

KEY MATCHUP

Florida’s defense versus Tennessee’s ground game. The Vols lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing, averaging 257.5 yards a game and ranking fourth in major college football. The Gators have allowed 151 yards on the ground in two outings.

Florida running back Treyaun Webb (20) is lifted up by...

Florida running back Treyaun Webb (20) is lifted up by Florida offensive lineman Austin Barber, left, after scoring a touchdown against McNeese State on a 2-yard run during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Gainesville, Fla. Credit: AP/John Raoux

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tennessee: LB Aaron Beasley is coming off the best game by a Vols defender since 2004. He had nine tackles, including two sacks and five for loss. He’s averaging three tackles for loss a game, which is tops in the nation.

Florida: RBs Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne. The duo is the focal point of Napier’s offense, but they were non-factors in the opener at Utah. They played considerably better against lower-division McNeese, combining for 204 yards rushing and three TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

Tennessee tight end McCallan Castles (34) escapes from Austin Peay...

Tennessee tight end McCallan Castles (34) escapes from Austin Peay defensive lineman Darius Richmond (41) and runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Knoxville, Tenn. Credit: AP/Wade Payne

Florida is 16-5 in the series in Gainesville. … Five of the last nine overall have been decided by 10 points or less, including last season when Tennessee won 38-33 on the final play for the Vols’ first victory since 2016. … Tennessee coach Josh Heupel has won 15 of his last 18 games. He is 7-1 against teams from Florida and 1-1 against the Gators. … Tennessee has won four straight dating back to last season. … Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright has run for at least 100 yards in each of the first two games. … Florida QB Graham Mertz and Tennessee QB Joe Milton last played each other in 2020, with Mertz and Wisconsin getting the best of Milton and Michigan in the Big House. … Florida has scored in 438 consecutive games, an NCAA-record streak that began in 1988.

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