If Saturday seemed familiar to Tennessee coach Butch Jones, that's because it was. In fact, it was little more than five years ago that this exact week happened to Jones.
On Sept. 6, 2008, Jones took his still-growing Central Michigan team to Athens, Ga. to play then-No.2 ranked Georgia between the hedges.
When it was all said and done, the Chippewas were blown out by the Bulldogs, 56-17, and the Jones-led team was left with the task of bouncing back with a conference opponent on the horizon.
The following Saturday, the Chippewas opened up their MAC schedule on the road with a narrow victory, 31-28.
Sure, that opponent was the Ohio Bobcats and not the Florida Gators, but you get the point.
There isn't much to say about the Oregon game except that it was ugly. But that was last Saturday.
All I've read and heard this week is that another massacre is coming in "The Swamp" Saturday and all I keep thinking is, "by who?"
First off, if the Gators had traveled to Autzen Stadium last week, they probably would have not lost by 45, but they would have likely lost by 28.
The Gators defense is spectacular and I'll agree that I don't see this mediocre Volunteer offense driving down the field at will, but this Florida offense has looked terrible, especially against Miami. Their six turnovers in two games bodes well for the Vols given their performance against Western Kentucky. It definitely would not surprise me to see Jeff Driskel give the Vols a couple of short fields to work with.
And no, I'm not saying Driskel is WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty, but he also isn't Marcus Mariota. He isn't even close.
Now I know the Vols haven't beaten the Gators in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since 2003, but if any team were poised to break that streak it's this one. Not because they are more talented than any other Tennessee squad, but because they do the things that a road team in a hostile environment needs to do.
The Vols lead the SEC in red zone defense (66.7 percent), turnover margin (+2.0), fewest penalty yards (19 per game) and in opponent penalties (72.0). They also tie for first in fewest penalties with six and fewest sacks against, having only allowed two through three games.
Impressive stats for a team that just got crushed in Eugene, Ore.
Because, in the end, it all comes back to the coach, and Jones is a good one.
Saturday is going to come down to one thing: can the Vols clear that thrashing of last week out of their heads? If they can, and I think they will, they are going to come into "The Swamp" looking for a fight.
Butch Jones has never lost in his first conference opener in his career – Central Michigan defeated Toledo 52-31 in 2007 and Cincinnati beat Louisville 35-27 in 2010 – and that feat may be in danger Saturday, but he may get his Volunteer team a lot closer to finally beating Florida than most of you think.
Upset of the Week
Last week: No. 6 Texas A&M over No. 1 Alabama
This week: Purdue over No. 24 Wisconsin, 27-21
Well, Johnny Football definitely didn't let me down last week. Unfortunately, one bad pick-six on his part and an awful performance from the Aggies defense cost me a 2-0 start. Oh well.
This week's prediction has two words written all over it: Trap. Game.
Wisconsin, who suffered a 32-30 loss to No. 23 Arizona State last weekend, hits the road next week in a tough matchup against No. 4 Ohio State – currently the owners of a 15-game winning streak – and may be caught looking forward against this Boilermaker team that, while in a losing effort, gave No. 22 Notre Dame all it could handle Saturday night.
Troy Provost-Heron is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media. He can be followed on Twitter @TPro_UTDB and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.