Matching up with the Gators

Sign in or subscribe now to see more on the matchup between Tennessee's top wide receivers and the Florida defensive backs. Also included is video of two Vol assistant coaches talking at Haslam Field following Wednesday's practice.

After two highly-productive performances from both Justin Hunter and Da' Rick Rogers, the sophomore wide receiver duo continues to draw praise from media outlets throughout the South.

In Tennessee's double-digit wins over Montana and Cincinnati at Neyland Stadium, Hunter and Rogers combined for 31 catches for 502 yards and five touchdowns. That's an average of 16.2 yards per reception.

With Hunter being 6-foot-4, 200 pounds and Rogers, a former five-start prospect, being 6-3, 215, the tandem presents matchup problems with their size. Pair that with the chemistry and timing they're developing with quarterback Tyler Bray and it's easy to see opposing defensive coordinators are tossing and turning at night.

Florida first-year coach Will Muschamp is known for teaching a physical style of play at defensive back, having learned some under two-time national champion coach Nick Saban. Look for his unit to jam and press the Volunteer receivers to disrupt timing and to attempt to negate height advantages.

One of the top cornerbacks on the Florida roster is redshirt junior Jeremy Brown, who's dealt with his fair share of injuries and is banged up heading into this week. He received a medical redshirt in 2008 and missed 2009 with more back issues.

The 5-foot-10, 187-pounder finally got onto the field last season, totaling three interceptions in 10 starts. He was not credited with a start against either FAU or UAB.

The bulk of the defensive back snaps have fallen on sophomore Cody Riggs (5-9, 179) and freshman Marcus Roberson (6-0, 184) at corner and sophomore Matt Elam (5-10, 206) at safety. Junior Josh Evans (6-1, 199) has a start at safety, while freshman De'Ante Saunders (5-8, 192) has played both nickelback and safety.

Both Riggs and Roberson played their high school ball with Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Roberson was the country's fourth-ranked safety in the Class of 2011, as graded by Scout.com.

To see what Vol wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett had to say about facing the Florida defense, click play on the video below.

Also included in the footage is UT defensive line coach Lance Thompson talking about defending the Gators, which won't be an easy task with their world class speed, most especially backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.

On the year, Rainey has 15 plays of 10-plus yards, which is tied for most nationally. Demps' four runs of 20-plus yards are tied for fourth best in country.


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