Getting to know the Vols’ opponent from Florida experts

This week, we caught up with site experts Benjamin Henderson and Will Thomas of the FanSided website Hail Florida Hail, which covers the Gators, to discuss Tennessee football’s opponent this week. Florida comes into this game 2-1, ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the Coaches Poll. They beat the South Florida Bulls 31-28 last week.

However, they played two Power Five teams currently in the top 15 to open the season and split between them, beating the Utah Utes in their season-opener 29-26 before losing to the Kentucky Wildcats 26-16. With first-year head coach Billy Napier leading the program, that has created a lot of questions surrounding the program.

This being Florida’s first true road test only adds to those questions. We were able to catch up with Henderson and Thomas to try to find answers to those questions. They will be very relevant to Tennessee football Saturday, so let’s take a look at some of them. You can find their questions for us and our answers by clicking here.

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) celebrates after a touchdown during the first half against the South Florida Bulls at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, September 17, 2022. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]
Ncaa Football Florida Gators Vs South Florida Bulls

Is something wrong with Anthony Richardson? Could he be banged up? There seems to have been a huge drop-off after his first game.

He took a hit early against Kentucky that he has since admitted he felt the effects from. Gator fans want Richardson running more, but there are two things at play:

– Kentucky schemed specifically to stop Richardson from running
– Napier and Richardson admitted at Monday’s press conference that because of the lack of a backup QB, Richardson has been told to limit his runs

Richardson can be effective even without running, but where he has fallen apart is with his passing mechanics. He’s making the correct reads, but his footwork in the second half against Kentucky and USF has been terrible. What’s frustrating is that he has demonstrated the ability to set his feet far better than Emory Jones ever did. He just hasn’t been consistent about it.

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