Sanders in the dark

Tennessee offensive coordinator Randy Sanders would love to tell you he knows exactly what to expect from Florida's defense Saturday night in the Swamp. But he doesn't. The Gators won their first two games so handily – 32-14 over Wyoming and 41-3 over Louisiana Tech – that they didn't have to tip their hand very much, offensively or defensively.

As a result, Sanders had to plead ignorance when asked how much Florida's defense has changed since Urban Meyer replaced Ron Zook as head coach following the 2004 season.

"From what we've seen the first two games, there's definitely some differences," Sanders said. "But there's also a lot of similarities and a lot of things that look the same. It's hard to say how much different it will be when we get down there because I'm sure they haven't shown much of what they've got. They haven't been tested very much the first two games."

While Sanders isn't totally familiar with Florida's defensive schemes, he is very familiar with Florida's defensive personnel. Most of the Gator defenders have been around awhile.

"It's pretty much the same guys we've been playing against for a couple of years," Sanders said. "Nine of the 11 guys who started the Peach Bowl against Miami are back. And, for the most part, it's the same guys who started against us (in September of 2004) with a couple of exceptions.

"They have a lot of experience, a lot of guys who have played a lot of football."

Statistically, Florida's defense appears impregnable. Gator foes are averaging just 192 yards per game and completing just 39 percent of their passes. The kicker, of course, is that those foes were Wyoming and Louisiana Tech.

Bottom line: Tennessee fans won't know until Saturday night just how good Florida's defense is. And Randy Sanders probably won't know till then, either.


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