The 2022 Tennessee Volunteer football season is quickly approaching. Heading into each respective season there are always plenty of storylines. Over the next few weeks, the Volunteer Country staff will look into some of these storylines, position group battles, etc., and make the case for each topic being discussed. Today, we take a look at which game on Tennessee's schedule is most important in 2022.
Florida. It is as simple as that for me. Could it be Pitt or LSU? Maybe, but they are not on Tennessee's If you are not going to beat the Gators now, then when are you going to do it? And please do not take that as me suggesting that it will be an easy win. Anthony Richardson is a solid quarterback who can hurt a defense with his legs and extending drives, and there is still talent on both sides of the ball in Gainesville.
But if you are Tennessee, you have a Florida team that is coming into Knoxville in week four on a brutal schedule. They open the season against two very physical football teams in Utah and Kentucky before hosting South Florida, so the Gators are going to go through some tough moments early in the season. If Tennessee beats Pitt, then their SEC East rival will travel north to find a likely sold out Neyland Stadium and a hungry, undefeated Tennessee team. Florida is on a five game winning streak against Tennessee and was on an eleven game winning streak before that. Josh Heupel needs to get the Florida curse or whatever you want to call it for Tennessee, off of his back this season in Knoxville.
I agree with Matt. It's a cut and dry decision to choose Florida as the most important game of Tennessee's season.
The gap closed significantly between Florida and Tennessee as the 2021 season progressed, and now it's time for the Vols to get back at Florida in year two under Heupel.
The LSU game will be highly intriguing, as will the Pitt game. And even Alabama as I predict the Vols will enter the game undefeated. But Florida is the answer here. The game comes fairly early in the season, too, as the Big Orange and Gators will go toe-to-toe in week four, setting the stage for how Tennessee's season will truly fare.