(WVLT) - The Tennessee football team began its preparation for the annual rivalry clash versus Florida Monday, amidst news that one of the Gators' key offensive players will miss the game due to injury.
Senior receiver Andre Caldwell will not play against the Vols due to a sprained MCL. Caldwell had 4 catches for 50 yards against Tennessee last year. He caught 5 touchdown passes last season and ran for another.
Against Western Kentucky, Caldwell caught 3 passes for 103 yards. He tallied only one catch for 8 yards in the Gators' most recent game, a 59-31victory against Troy.
If the Vols wish to win against Florida, the rushing game must become a priority. In the last 17 meetings between the two teams, the offense that rushed for the most yards has won 15 times.
"We definitely didn't run the ball last year versus Florida," said offensive lineman Eric Young. "That's something this week we have to take pride in. That's what we're going to work on this week; that's a must this weekend."
Although the Vols have played two solid teams to start the season, the players say Florida week will have an added level of intensity.
"You don't like to say that," said running back Arian Foster, "but because of the hype this game brings and the tradition that goes along with it, it's going to be an intense and very hyped-up game."
The Vols and Gators kick off Saturday at 3:30 on CBS. In addition to carrying the game itself, Volunteer TV Sports Overtime will have in-depth coverage of the UT-Florida game throughout the week.