University of Florida

Florida Gators unfazed by underdog status

Florida running back Matt Jones (24) tries to get to the outside as he carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Florida running back Matt Jones (24) tries to get to the outside as he carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP

Florida has won nine games in a row against Tennessee, but the Gators find themselves as 21/2-point underdogs Saturday (noon, SEC Network).

No big deal, according to several Florida players.

“Florida became the underdog ever since last year’s [4-8] season,” senior safety Jabari Gorman said. “It doesn’t faze us at all. We’re the kind of defense and we’re the type of team that we care for each other. So we’re going to hold each other accountable and do the best we can.”

Junior tailback Matt Jones said he’s not surprised Florida isn’t favored, saying, “We get that all the time now. I’m just ready to go in there and show them that we’re capable of winning.”

Since 2013, the Gators are 0-5 as underdogs, losing four games away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

THIS and THAT

Florida coach Will Muschamp said freshman tailback Brandon Powell (hamstring) is officially out this weekend, and starting linebacker Michael Taylor (swollen knee) remains questionable to doubtful. … Tennessee coach Butch Jones called Gators cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. — two preseason All-Americans — the best players at their respective positions in the country. … Muschamp said he doesn’t worry about total yardage defensively as much as yards per play. The Gators rank No.83 nationally, allowing 5.67 yards per touch.

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