KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe started preparing for games like Saturday's visit to No. 5 Florida during spring practice, when he introduced the no-huddle offensive scheme to his 22nd-ranked Vols.
``Everything you do offensively is geared toward being solid and sound and good against your best opponents,'' Cutcliffe said.
The no-huddle is designed to catch defenses unprepared, prevent them from substituting and wear out players with less time to rest between plays.
Cutcliffe said he's been happy with how quarterback Erik Ainge executed the no-huddle against Southern Miss and at No. 8 California, where the Vols (1-1) faced the kind of hostile environment that can disrupt such a scheme.
But the Swamp will be even louder for the game that usually has Southeastern Conference championship implications, coach Phillip Fulmer said.
``Our focus has got to be really, really good,'' he said. ``The noise level is probably going to be double what it was at Cal.''
Coaches briefly tried a type of no-huddle offense when Ainge was a freshman in 2004, calling plays from the sidelines, but scrapped it after it seemed to confuse him.
Now, Ainge is confident, collected and smart enough to change many of those calls according to what he sees from the defense, Cutcliffe said.
Ainge has spent hours with Cutcliffe reviewing the playbook and studying opponents on film. He has said he feels comfortable changing plays because he knows exactly what Cutcliffe would do.
Players and coaches have raved about Ainge's attitude and ability, crediting the senior quarterback for why the no-huddle has been disrupting defenses.
``If they do give us a signal from the sideline and he sees something different that needs to be called, he makes that call on the fly,'' tight end Chris Brown said. ``The coaches trust him to do the things he needs to do.''
Brown said it also helps that a number of offensive players can handle multiple assignments: Wide receivers can switch slots at a moment's notice, tailbacks and tight ends can catch and everyone can block.
The Gators lost nine starters off their championship defense, but Cutcliffe doesn't believe they're any less threatening.
The Vols likely will have to adjust quickly during the game as they lack a full understanding of what Florida's defense can do. There's little footage available for coaches to study the seven underclassmen starting on defense for the defending national champs.
The Gators (2-0) started their season against Western Kentucky and Troy, and Cutcliffe suspects coach Urban Meyer has quite a few plays he hasn't shown yet.
Brown said he's ready for whatever they throw at him.
``They like to play a lot of man coverage and just dare you to beat them,'' Brown said. ``We have to accept that challenge. They want to sit there and try to intimidate you. We're ready.''
Notes: Florida coach Urban Meyer is 2-0 against Tennessee. No Florida coach has ever defeated the Vols in his first three meetings. ... In 15 of the last 17 games in this series, the team that has had more yards rushing won the game.

Recent NCAAF Discussions

Advertisement

NCAAF Headlines

More inNCAAF News  

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail Bettors backing Cal vs. Hawaii Despite the majority of public bettors backing California for Friday’s college football kickoff contest, the line has moved in favor of Hawaii.
Thumbnail Clemson Season Win Total Prediction   Few would argue that the best player in college football resides in Death Valley. After narrowly missing out on the ultimate prize this past January, will...
Thumbnail Western Kentucky Season Win Total Prediction In Conference USA country, one school’s offensive attack stands a cut above the rest. We’re talking about a crew so brilliant that even video-game...
Thumbnail Navy Season Win Total Prediction   Collectively, Houston towered over the American Athletic Conference competition in 2016. In terms of individual prowess, though, nobody rivaled Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.
Thumbnail San Diego State Season Win Total Prediction Through the years, San Diego State fans have been privileged to watch extraordinary individual talents like Marshall Faulk and La’Roi Glover. Last season,...
More inNCAAF Articles  

NCAAF Team Pages

Advertisement