Florida coach Urban Meyer expects his team to be tested at Tennessee's raucous Neyland Stadium on Saturday, especially with his offense still trying to find its way.
Meyer's 10th-ranked Gators are also dealing with an unexpected challenge as they open SEC play against the Vols following the arrest of starting receiver Chris Rainey.
According to Gainesville Police, Rainey sent a woman he dated on and off the last three years a text message that read, "Time to die," after leaving her home Monday night.
He was taken into custody the next morning and charged with aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony, later in the day before being released from the Alachua County Jail. The alleged victim asked for the charges to be dropped and there's been no official word of disciplinary action against Rainey, who is also the team's primary punt returner.
However, Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said, "Chris Rainey is not a part of our team right now. That's really all I have to say on that."
Meyer has immediately suspended other players, including defensive end Carlos Dunlap last season and receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. this summer, following arrests.
Rainey has six receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown for the Gators (2-0), although he sat out the second half of last week's 38-14 victory over South Florida with a concussion.
After committing eight fumbles in a 34-12 win over Miami of Ohio on Sept. 4, Florida cut that number to two against the Bulls and lost none. The Gators, though, got off to a slow start and needed John Brantley's touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to enter halftime with a 7-all tie.
Florida's running attack, led by Jeff Demps, took over from there and the Gators also finished with four interceptions for the second straight game.
Demps rushed for 139 yards on 11 carries. Among those was a 62-yard scoring sprint that gave his team the lead for good in the third quarter.
Emmanuel Moody added 54 yards and Mike Gillislee contributed a touchdown during the team's 256-yard rushing day.
"The ability for us to be able to play some power football is going to be important," Addazio said. "It was nice to see the demeanor our team in the second half. That felt really good. I think I felt really good for them as well as for us."
While Florida pulled away in the second half last week, the majority of Tennessee's collapse occurred after the break in a 48-13 home loss to then-No. 7 Oregon.
The Volunteers (1-1) led 13-3 in the second quarter and entered halftime tied, but the Ducks' 72-yard touchdown run and interception return for a score in the third quarter were part of a run of 45 unanswered points.
"We're focusing so much on the scoreboard that when things aren't going our way on the scoreboard, we get frustrated and then we lose sight of what we need to do to win the football game," coach Derek Dooley said. "We're going to learn from it and move on and grow."
One of the few positives in the defeat was Tauren Poole's 162 yards on 23 carries. The junior has 272 yards and three touchdowns on the season, but he might not have help this week from junior center Cody Pope, who is day to day after suffering a stinger in last week's defeat.
Poole will try to prevent a series-worst sixth consecutive loss to the Gators - all against Meyer - and third in a row at Neyland. Tennessee has won 11 of 20 meetings in Knoxville, but Florida holds a 20-19 edge in the series.
Despite Tennessee's lopsided home loss and Florida's recent success against the Vols, Meyer wasn't dismissing this game's location as a key factor.
"That's one of the most difficult environments in the country to play in, so we've got to be on our game,'' Meyer told the Gators' official website about Neyland.
Saturday will mark the first time Tennessee has hosted top 10 teams in consecutive weeks.