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Florida vs. Tennessee set for 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN

The Gators and Vols get a big stage.

Tennessee v Florida Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers will renew their rivalry this weekend at 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, the SEC announced Sunday.

Previously, the league had slated Florida-Tennessee for either that 7 p.m. slot on ESPN, a 7 p.m. slot on ESPN2, or a 7:30 p.m. start on the SEC Network. Florida-Tennessee will get the grandest stage of those three, as it turns out, with Mississippi State’s trip to Kentucky for a game between unbeatens set for ESPN2, Auburn hosting Arkansas in a matchup of teams coming off losses on the SEC Network, and LSU-Louisiana Tech getting shunted to ESPNU.

Florida-Tennessee has customarily been the game of the week for much of the last two decades, and it airing on ESPN is a rare occurrence. Saturday’s game will be only the second to air on an ESPN network this decade.

Of course, whether on ESPN or CBS, Florida’s been dominant in the rivalry against Tennessee of late, winning 12 of its last 13 matchups with the Volunteers and defeating them in dramatic fashion in both 2015 and 2017.

And the last Florida-Tennessee game on an ESPN network came in 2012, when Florida scored 27 points in the second half — 24 of them unanswered — in a 37-20 win at Neyland Stadium.