The Tennessee Vols haven’t had a lot of success against the Florida Gators over the last 20 years.
Tennessee has beaten Florida just once since 2004 (a 38-28 win in 2016 in Knoxville).
The Vols’ current five-game losing streak to the Gators is tied for the second-longest in UT history (Tennessee also lost five in a row to Florida from 1993-1997).
Could that streak end in 2022?
At least one national college football writer thinks it could.
247Sports’ Brad Crawford made 22 early predictions for the 2022 season this week and one of his predictions is that Tennessee will end their losing streak to Florida.
Tennessee’s five-year losing skid against Florida and a decade of disaster in the SEC East rivalry will come to an end Sept. 24, 2022 in Knoxville. With Hendon Hooker returning at quarterback, the Volunteers could have the SEC’s second-best signal caller entering the season who anchors an offense that could be even better than this season’s group that led the nation in plays per minute. That could be frustrating a bit for a new-look Florida defense that will have already been beaten up in physical affairs with Utah and Kentucky to open.
Tennessee’s matchup against the Gators in 2022 isn’t quite a must-win game, but it’s close.
The Vols should be on steady ground in 2022 in Josh Heupel’s second season leading the program. Florida, however, is on shaky ground after firing Dan Mullen and hiring Billy Napier away from Louisiana.
Napier may end up being a great coach in Gainesville, but he has a lot to prove before he gets to that point.
If Tennessee doesn’t beat the Gators in 2022, then when will they?
The Vols have to prove next season that automatic losses to Florida are a thing of the past.
Otherwise, it’s just more of the same.
Featured image via Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports/Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun