If you’re a Tennessee Vols fan who is nervous about Saturday’s home game against the Florida Gators, then I have a metric via ESPN that might make you feel a bit better.

ESPN’s Bill Connelly pointed out a metric this week that bodes well for the Volunteers against Florida.

Connelly noted that when Tennessee gets their first first down on a drive, their odds of scoring “skyrocket”.

Essentially, the Vols either go three-and-out or they score.

That’s bad news for Florida because according to Connelly, the Gators are No. 123 in FBS in forcing a three-and-out that leads to a punt.

From ESPN:

The Gators will probably have to put on their track shoes to pull off an upset in Knoxville. Their defense ranks a dismal 106th in success rate allowed and 95th in points allowed per drive — injured linebacker Ventrell Miller‘s absence last week exacerbated all problems — and Tennessee’s offense, against similar overall schedule strength, ranks 15th and 10th, respectively. Once Hendon Hooker and the Vols get that first first down in a given drive, their odds of scoring skyrocket; that’s a problem for Napier considering almost everyone gets that first first down against the Gators (Florida’s three-and-punt rate: 16%, 123rd in FBS).

Tennessee Vols
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) during Tennessee’s football game against Akron in Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Kns Ut Akron Football

Florida simply isn’t stopping teams to start drives.

And once the Vols find their rhythm on a drive, teams aren’t stopping them.

Those two things combined tilt this matchup significantly in Tennessee’s favor.

The game obviously still has to be played, but you have to be feeling pretty good about the Vols’ chances if you’re cheering for the team in Orange on Saturday.

Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports